A big infrastructural project in the Alps poses many challenges for business organisations, inhabitants and environmental associations. For instance, the engineering challenges facing an alpine plant like the pumped-storage power plant Linthal with its approximately 1,000 metre long concrete dam, two caverns inside the mountain more than 100 metres long and approx. 60 metres in height relate primarily to the transport logistics and safety of the workers employed there.
The lecture discussed the future of hydropower taking the Linthal Project 2015 as an example. The largest pumped-storage power plant in Switzerland uses four pumped-storage turbines, each with a capacity of 250 MW and synchronous motors for variable speeds. This project represents an investment of approximately CHF 2.1 billion and is expected to take about five years. The plant, which will go into operation in 2015/16, will play a pivotal role in Switzerland’s future energy supply.
Dr.-Ing. Manfred Thumann has been business division manager for production & networks at Axpo Power AG since 2007 and a member of the Executive Management of Axpo Holding AG since 2004. The Axpo Group, which is a Swiss energy provider, is wholly owned by the cantons of north-eastern Switzerland. Manfred Thumann previously held various positions in the ABB Group and was also a researcher at the German Aerospace Centre before taking over as director at Alstom in 1997 where he headed the gas turbine division until 2003. He is also on the administrative boards of several companies, e.g. the nuclear power plants Leibstadt AG (President) and Gösgen-Däniken AG (Vice President), swisselectric (Board member), Association of Swiss Electricity Companies (VSE) (Board member) as well as being a member of various specialised bodies.