The joint Italian and Australian venture will be undertaken by hydropower and tunnelling specialist Salini Impregilo, with a 65 per cent stake, together with Western Australian construction and engineering company Clough, with a 35 per cent stake.

Snowy 2.0 will be an expansion of a network of hydro power stations in the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, operated by Snowy Hydro Ltd in NSW, with the goal of supporting Australia’s renewable energy future.

Under the terms of the contract, Salini Impregilo will link the existing Tantangara and Talbingo dams by excavating a series of tunnels and building a hydroelectric power station with pumping facilities located nearly one kilometre underground.

“With this massive project, our Group is expanding its activities in Australia by entering the hydro sector to help the country produce more clean energy,” Pietro Salini, Chief Executive Officer of Salini Impregilo, said.

“We are bringing know-how that we’ve acquired from hundreds of projects built throughout the world.

“This contract consolidates our presence in the country where Salini Impregilo has been working in recent years, especially in the transport sector to expand sustainable mobility in cities like Sydney and Perth.” 

The Italian mega-company is currently building a light rail airport link in Perth, while in Sydney it remains on the shortlist to deliver a major earthworks package for the Western Sydney Airport.

Hydroelectricity plays a key role in the country’s efforts to produce cleaner energy.

According to Australia’s Clean Energy Council, hydroelectricity is responsible for 33.9 per cent of renewable energy produced in the country.

Snowy 2.0 is expected to triple Snowy Hydro’s pumping capabilities.

The project is slated to take eight years as it takes on the energy challenges of tomorrow.