Eraring Energy's civil section project manager, Ben Mate, said the two-week maintenance project was a first. To achieve it, the company had the $150,000 aluminium circular access platform specifically fabricated to fit over the top of either of the 25-year-old twin stacks.
"In previous maintenance work in 2005, we used professional steeplejacks to climb up the outside of the stacks which is both very time consuming and not without real risks," Mr Mate said.
"But this access method incorporates an elevator to lift men and materials up and down the 200 metre stacks. The platform also has full perimeter knee and hand safety rails which makes it very safe for the maintenance team," he said.
During the maintenance work, visual inspections are made of both the outer concrete wall and the inner brick lining, and repairs are carried out where needed.
"We also replace the stainless steel capping on the top stack and check the lightning conductors for efficiency. The platform will be dismantled and stored for reuse once the maintenance work is complete, though it doesn't happen often."
Written by David Quick for the 'Lakes Mail', Published Thursday, April 15th, 2010