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Rock engineering aspects of theunderground works for theGuangzhou
Pumped Storage Project, China
Aspects del'ingenierie derochedes travaux souterrains pour laGuangzhou Pumped
Storage Project, Chine
Ingenieurwissenschaftliche Aspekte zudenunterirdischen Arbeiten amFels
des Projekts der Pumpstation Guangzhou inChina
Laurie Richards - Lincoln University. Canterbury, New Zealand
Luo Shaoji - Guangdong Pumped Storage Power Station Joint Venture Corporation, People's Republic of China
Anders Carlsson &Tommy Olsson - Yattenfall HydroPower, Sweden
ABSTRACT: The Guangzhou Pumped Storage Power Station in Guangdong Province, China, is being
constructed in two stages each of 1200 MW. Stage I came into reliability operation in March 1994 and
Stage II will be operational in 1999. When the overall project is completed, the scheme will be the largest
pumped storage facility in the world. This paper provides a brief description of the scheme and outlines
someof the mainrockengineering considerations inthe designandconstructionof the undergroundworks.
RESUME: La Guangzhou Pumped Storage Power Stationdans la province de Guangdong, Chine, est en
cours de construction en deux phases, chacune de 1200 MW. La phase I a ete operationnelle en Mars
1994 et la phase II sera operationnelle en 1999. Unefois terminee, il s'agira de la plus grande station de
pompage du monde. Ce texte donne une breve description du projet et met a jour des considerations du
Point vue de l'inqenierie de roche les plus importantes concernant la conception et la construction des
ZUSAMMENFASSUNG: Die unterirdischeZentrale von Guangzhouinder Provinz Guandong inChinawird
InZWeiStadien zuje 1200MWgebaut. Der erste Bauabschnittwurde imMarz 1994 fertiggestellt, undder
ZWeitewird 1999 abgeschlossen. Nach seiner Beendigung wird dieses Projekt das grol1teseiner Art auf
der ganzen Welt sein. Diese Arbeit liefert eine kurze Beschreibung des Schemas und stellt einige der
rngenieurwissenschaftlichen Hauptprobleme bei Felsarbeiten fur die Planung und den Bau von
unterirdischenAnlagen dar.
Chinahas a long tradition of hydropower with water
Wheelshaving been used as far back as the Han
Dynasty (206BC - 8AD). The first hydroelectric
Powerstation was built inYunnan province in 1910-
1912but after this only limited progress was made
Withhydropower development in the first half of this
century. Following the founding of the People's
Republic of China, the total hydropower capacity
has risen from about 160 MW in 1949 to 38,000
MW in 1991. A recent survey of hydropower
developmentin China (Cheng Xuemin, 1994) notes
that in 1994 there were 42 projects in operation or
under construction with capacities greater than 250
MW. The 2400 MWGuangzhou PumpedStorage
Project which is currently under construction not
only represents a major milestone in Chinese
hYdropower development but also constitutes a
Worldfirst in pumped storage capacity as well as
Settingnotable milestones for engineering quality,
low cost per installed kW, highest specific power
300MWunits andspeedof construction.
Because of the abundance of conventional
hydropower sites in China, the development of
pumpedstoragetechnology has been relativelyslow
with the earlier schemes being relatively small and
usually incorporated into irrigation dams. Cheng
Xuemen's review notes that the sharp increase in
peak loaddemandfollowing China's rapideconomic
development since the late 70's has resulted in a
demand for large pumped storage plants. In 1994,
there were five projects under construction with an
aggregate capacity of 3500 MW and a dozen
projects aggregating 15 GW at various design
The Guangzhou Pumped Storage Power
Station (GPSPS) is located in Lutian County which
forms part of the Conghua district of Guangdong
ProvinceinChina. As shown in Figure 1, the site is
about 120 km from the provincial capital of
Guangzhou, which in turn is about 125 km north-
west of Hong Kong. The main elements of the
scheme are the dams, reservoirs, hydraulic tunnels
and underground power caverns. The lower
reservoir is located ina peaceful fertile valleywhere
Figure 1: Location of scheme
the farmers of the village of Xiao San have
cultivatedtheir riceand groundnuts for thousands of
years. An important early stage of the scheme was
to resettle the farmers into modern housing on the
edge of the new lake. The upper and lower
reservoirs are located on secondary tributaries of
the Liuxi River and the new lakes add a further
scenicfeaturetothe majestic mountainsetting.
Although the scheme is relatively close to the
major conurbations on the Pearl River delta, the
landscapeis clean and unspoilt with rugged granite
mountains, lush forest, flowing rivers, peaceful
lakes, and clear mountain air untainted by industry
or towns. The J V carefully regulates access and
entryinto the area to ensure that the natural beauty
of the area will remain to be enjoyed by future
The project is being developed in two stages of
1200 MW each and, when completed, will be the
largest pumped storage facility in the world.
Electricityfromthe scheme will help to ensure safe
operation for the Daya Bay nuclear facility and will
ease the shortage of power across the province of
Guangdong. The station is connected with the
Guangdongpower network bymeans of two 500 KV
transmission lines which provide balancing of the
systemtogether withsafe operation of the DayaBay
scheme. China Light and Power Company has
purchased the right to use half of the capacity of
StageI power.
Key project dates for the scheme have been or
will beas follows:
January 1988 Approval for work given by state
September 1988 Commencement of work on
Stage I
May 1989 Start of major civil works for
Stage I
June 1993 Commissioning of first unit for
Stage I
August 1993 Inauguration of the
pumping/turbining operations
January 1994 Start of major works for Stage II
March 1994 Unit 4 of Stage I came into
reliability operation
Mid-1996 Completion of major civil works
for Stage II
1999 Stage II infull operation
The time between the start of pre-construction
works and the trial operation of the fourth unit of
Stage I has been a remarkably short period of 68
Stage I of the scheme has been a joint
investmentof the Guangdong Provinceand Ministry
of Energy with the Guangdong Pumped Storage
Power Station J oint Venture (GPSJ VC) being
established to provide project management.
Followinga process of tender and bidevaluation, all
electrical and mechanical equipment items were
importedfromFrancebymeans of a Frenchloan.
The Employer for the scheme is GPSJ VC, the
Designer is the Guangdong Hydropower Design
Instituteandthe Contractor for the civil and erection
works is the Fourteenth Construction Bureau from
Yunnan Province. The Supervision Board consists
of consulting engineers fromthe Mid-South Design
Institute for Hydro Projects and the Gezhouba
Construction Bureau. For both stages of the
scheme, SwedPower has provided consultancy
services for geological, hydrogeological and rock
engineering. These services have involved regular
site visits from early 1989 onwards to review the
progress and performance of the engineeringworks
and to provide guidance and detailed assistance
where required with investigation, design and
constructionof the undergroundworks.
The two stages of the project are located in parallel
between two manmade reservoirs with a head
differenceof about 520mas shown inFigure2. The
power stations for the two stages are about 200m
apart and are at a depth of approximately 400m
below ground level. The two stages have
completelyseparate waterways and intakesystems.
The intake for Stage II is currently being excavated
~ I
Scale (m)
Figure 2: General layout for Stage I and Stage "
from within the concrete intake structure while the
lower reservoir is withinits normal operating regime.
2. 1 Access road
When the project was inaugurated inthe last half of
1988, no preconstruction works had been carried
out and works commenced with formidable
difficulties because of the poor access into the
remote and rugged site. A major achievement in
the early stages was the construction of a 20 km
long road from the local highway system. This
provided access to the main construction site
adjacent to the lower reservoir and linked the upper
and lower reservoirs. Most of the access to the
upper reservoir is cut into the steep mountainsides
and had to be excavated mainly by manual labour.
The road is now fuuy paved with concrete and
affords readyaccess to the upper reservoir for both
construction traffic and tourists visiting the picnic
andrestareas besidethe upper lake.
2.2 Dams
Both the upper and lower reservoirs are manmade
and required construction of two relatively large
dams. The characteristics of the dams are shown
onTable 1.
Table 1: Characteristics of dams
Type of dam
Normal pool level - m
Maximum height - m
Variation in water level - m
Live storage at NPL - m
Crest elevation - m
Crest length - m
Crest width - m
Slope of upstream face
Slope of downstream face
Thickness of face slab - mm
Type of spillway
Design discharge for 100 year flood-
Construction period
Upper reservoir dam
1.7 x 10
300- 600
14.12.89to 20.02.92
Lower reservoir dam
Roller compacted
1.7x 10
Crest spillway
10.01.91 to 31.07.93
Figure 3: Section through Stage I waterways
2.3 Hydraulic tunnels
The upstreamwaterways for Stage I and Stage II
are similar. Figure 3 shows a section along the
waterwaysof Stage I. Eachstage has a single Low
PressureTunnel of 9min diameter and over 900m
long. An UpstreamSurge Shaft is located at the
junction of the Low Pressure Tunnel and the
Inclined Shaft. Each of these surge shafts
comprises a 14mdiameter shaft opening up to a
25mdiameter surge pond. The depth of the surge
shafts is about70mwithsomevariationbetweenthe
two schemes. The pressure shafts for both
schemes consist of an Upper Inclined Shaft, an
IntermediateHorizontal Shaft and a Lower Inclined
Shaft. The shaft diameter is constant at 8.5m
throughout with the difference in elevationfromthe
LowPressure Tunnel to the High Pressure Tunnel
being535m. The inclinedsections of the shafts are
The High Pressure Shafts for both schemes are
almost 500m long. The four penstocks for each
schemeare 3.5mdiameter and are steel-linedfrom
the Machine Hall as far as the manifold which is a
distance of about 150m. The layout of the
manifolds for the High Pressure Tunnels and the
Tailrace Tunnels is shown in Figure 4. Eachstage
has a single tailrace tunnel of 9m in diameter.
Stage I scheme has two DownstreamSurge Shafts
whereas Stage II has a single larger diameter shaft.
All the hydraulictunnels are lined- withthe concrete
thickness varying from 350mm in the Tailrace
Tunnelsto 600mminthe HighPressureTunnels.
2.4 Power Station Complex
Eachstage has a fairly conventional Power Station
Complex with the main elements consisting of a
Machine Hall, Transformer Hall and Busbar
Galleries. Aless commonfeatureis the presenceof
drainage galleries which form a drainage cage
aroundeach Power StationComplex. An isometric
viewof thetwo PowerStations is shownon Figure5
and a cross section through Stage II caverns in
Figure 6. The names and dimensions for the
numbered tunnels and caverns in Figure 5 are
Figure 4: Plan of power stations for Stage I and
Figure 5: Isometric view of main underground complex
Table 2: Dimensions of main caverns
Machine Hall
Auxiliary Power House
Transformer Hall
Busbar Gallery
Tailrace Gate Gallery
Cable Shaft
Ventilation Tunnels
Branch Ventilation Tunnel
Tailrace Gate Access Tunnel
Access Tunnel
Ventilation Chamber
Pedestrian Access Tunnel
Emergency Exit Tunnel
Drainage Gallery
Emergency Ventilation Shaft
High Pressure Tunnel
Tailrace Tunnel
Lower Surge Shaft
Ventilation Tunnel for Lower Surge Shafts
Exploratory Adit
Construction Adits
Dimensions (m) LxWxD
92.5 x 21 x 47.6
26 x 21 x 27.3
138.1 x 17.2 x 17.6
35 x 8.3 x 8.8
79.1 x 6.2 x 12.4
<P7x 381
970 x 7 x 6.3
114.4 x 7 x 6.5
195 x 5.5 x 5.9
1333 x 7.7 x 6.8
145 x 2 x 2.5
1.5 x 2.5
1098 x 2.5 x 3
1287 es.s. es.s
2181 ep4,cp5.8, CP8, CP9
118, CP20, CP8
371 x 4.7 x 4.8
2 x 2,2.5 x 3
7x 6.5
10500 10500
500 500
\7 2<0.9
DraJ nage galOlfy
and "'wage holes
HALL ,..,
10620 2<4380 120 17000 20
\7 207.6
\7206.6 '\7205.5~
___ I
- - - - - - - ~-
10500 2000
21000 -45000 172010 20175
Figure 6: Section through Power Station Complex of Stage /I
2.5 Project Quantities
The completed project quantities for Stage I were:
Open cut excavation 5.5 million m3
Underground excavation 1 million m3
Rockfill 1 million m3
Concrete 0.6 million m3
Masonry 0.3 million m3
Curtain and consolidation grouting 0.07 million m3
Contact grouting 0.06 million m3
Cabling 340 km
Steelwork erection 4850 tonne
The total cost for the Stage I scheme has been
$US182 million plus 820 million yuan of local
3. 1 Rock mass structure
The underground works for the scheme are located
entirely in granite. Some sedimentary rocks
(sandstones, slates/phyllites, limestone and
dolomite) outcrop locally in the area. The only
significant part of the works that is located in these
latter rocks is the Stage II intake in the lower
The geological investigations for both Stage I and
Stage II made excellent use of adits to explore the
geological conditions thoroughly prior to finalising
the location and orientation of the major caverns.
The major structures in the granite rock mass are
predominantly subvertical. The combination of this
generally favourable structure together with the
excellent observational and interpretational skills of
the site geologists meant that the power station
complexes were ideally sited within fault blocks of
superior rock mass quality. The main faults along
the Stage II waterway system are shown on Figure
Prior to selecting the location for the Stage I
caverns, investigations in the vicinity of the Power
Station Complex had comprised:
Geological mapping 1:5000 6.5 km
Geological mapping 1:1000 1 km
Cored boreholes 1.2 km
Test pits and adits 2700 m
Exploratory adits 2.3 km
Insitu stress measurements 21
In addition to the above field work, a comprehensive
programme of laboratory testing was also carried
The power station complexes are located at
about 300m deep within the granite mountain. The
mountain tops range from 570 to 680m in elevation
Figure 7: Section along Stage 1/ wateIWays showing major geological structures
compared with the Machine Hall vault elevations of
240m. The mountain is mantled with residual soils
and weathered granite up to 30min depth. Infault
zones and areas of altered granite, weathering
troughs may occur to significantly greater depths.
Beneath the weathered zone, the granite is
essentiallyfreshor slightlyweathered.
The granite has beensubjectedto alteration'asa
result of hydrothermal solutions flowing along faults
and fissures within the rock mass. Such alteration
has been most dominant along the NNW, NNE and
N-S trending faults. Zones of hydrothermal
alteration are characterised by quartz and calcite
veins contained within an altered zone of clay
minerals such as montmorillonite and kaolinite.
The typical width of alteration varies generallyfrom
about 50mm to 400mm but locally there may be
Interconnections forming zones up to 10m wide.
Although the alteration zones were initially the
causeof considerableconcern, the limitedthickness
of these and their subvertical orientation meant that
Figure 8: Main discontinuity sets in
underground works
they rarely caused any significant problems dunng
The discontinuities in the rock mass occur at
reasonably regular orientations and six sets of
subvertical fractures can generally be identified as
summarised on Figure 8. The joint sets have
characteristicsas summarisedinTable 3.
3.2 Rock mass quality
The site geologists categorise the rock mass into
five zones as summarised in Table 4. For each of
the rock classes,' representative rock material
properties have been determined as shown on the
table. The altered rock is subdivided into four
classesof alterationas shown inTable5.
The extent of altered and poor quality rock can
be seen fromthe following analysis of the wallrock
quality in the 1.6 kmlength of the main exploratory
aditfor StageI:
No. of faults 200
Proportion of adit length 2.5%
Total width of altered rock zones 92m
Proportion of adit length 6%
Proportion of Class IV wallrock 13.2%
If the rock mass is characterised using the Rock
Mass Ratingmethod, upper and lower boundvalues
of 67 and 91 are determined for the rock in the
StageI PowerStation Complex. Rock of this quality
would have a modulus of deformation in the range
from about 30 to 110 GPa according to the
correlations between RMR and rock mass
3.3 Groundwater regime
The annual precipitationinthe area is over 2000mm
so that there is a high source of recharge into the
rock mass. The superficial residual soils and
weathered mantle have hydraulic conductivities in
the rangeof 2.3x 10-6 to 2 x 10.
m/sec. As part of
the investigation works for Stage I, a series of
detailed water injection tests was carried out in six
Table 3: Characteristics of discontinuities in the underground works
Set Sub set Dim/Dip Comments
1 1EA 045-075/60-85 Set 1includesthe mostcommonlyencounteredand relativelythick
fault zones.
1WA 225-255/60-85 These are often associated with subparallel feather fractures of
1EB 045-075/20-40
1WB 225-255/20-40
2 2EA 105-135170-85 Set 2 has narrower fault and fracture widths and is the second
most dominant set.
2WA 285-315170-85 This set is ofteninterconnectedwiththefirst set.
2EB 105-135/30-40
2WB 285-315/30-40
3 080-1 00170-90 Set 3 is not consistently found throughout the rock mass. It is
highly variable in attitude ,and often traces along NE or NW
4 4W 205-220170-80 Set 4 includes the major faults inthe power house area. Someof
thesefaults havewidths rangingfrom0.6 to 4m
4E 025-040/70-80
5 320-330/70-80 Sets 5and 6 areonly rarelyencountered
6 170-190/70-80 Sets 5and 6 areonlyrarelyencountered
boreholes of which two had been drilled from
exploratory adits and the remaining four from
ground level. These boreholes were located quite
close to the Stage I Power Station Complex. The
results of these tests indicated weighted mean
hydraulic conductivities for each borehole in the
rangefrom7.5x 10-
to 1.55X 10-
The evidencefromthe exploratory adits was that
the rock mass at the power station elevation had
verylowpermeability. This was indicatedbythe low
continuous water inflow for the exploratory adit
which amounted to only 30 litres/minute for several
kilometres of tunnel. The low permeabilities and
water flows were a function of the alteration which
had the effect of compartmentalising the rock mass
into reservoirs of limited extent and poor
Granitic rockmasses with tectonic joints normally
have a well developed and interconnected fracture
pattern. However, a low degree of hydraulic
connectionwas found inthe rocks at this site. Open
fractures with significant water content exist but
these are usually drained in a short period -
indicating that open fractures are of limited extent
and with few intersections. In addition to this, the
zones of altered rock which have very lowhydraulic
conductivity act as impervious barriers in the rock
mass. At the points where an open, water-bearing
fracture intersects an altered zone, the rock is
normally disintegrated and the fracture flow is
blocked. This gives a groundwater systemwhich is
composed of individual, isolated water reservoirs
which, when intercepted, yield water until the
reservoir is emptied. A schematic diagramof this
typeof fracture systemis showninFigure9.
3.4 In situ stress regime
In situ stress measurements at the site have been
carried out by overcoring and hydrofracturing
methods. Overcore tests have been carried out by
SwedPower and the Bedrock Department of
Chanjiang Academy of Sciences. The tests were
carried out using the Hiltscher deep-hole triaxial
probedevelopedbythe SwedishState Power Board
with about 50 measurements being made in total.
Although individual results show considerable
scatter, there is a very clear overall trend to the
stress directions:
The mean direction for the major principal stress
is vertical
The intermediate principal stress is near
horizontal andoriented NNW
The minor principal stress is near horizontal and
All of the overcoring stress measurements have
been plotted on Figure 10which shows the vertical
stress and the major and minor horizontal stresses
against depth below ground level. The following
general trends canbe identified:
The theoretical overburden stress is normally
Table 4: Characteristics of weathered granite rock mass
Weathering grade Class I Class/! Class/!I Class IV Class V
Description Slightly weathered to fresh Slightly weathered to fresh Slightly to moderately Higher proportion of altered Weathered sandy gravel
medium coarse granite; granite; some altered rock; weathered granite; some rock becoming sandy clay and sandy clay with some
widely spaced joints, joint surfaces are slightly clayey altered rock; faults or sandy gravel; most joints strongly weathered rock,
generally tight; no water weathered and slightly and joints well developed; open and clay filled; joint extensive water seepage
seepage open; minor water
most joints are open or surfaces weathered; water
seepages filled wrth kaolinite; water flows well developed
seepage on faults and
Percentage of alteration 0-1
1- 6 6- 12 7- 35 30
and shear zones
Uniaxial compressive 85- 110 85- 65 65- 50 50- 13 <13
strength MPa
Joint intensity (number per 2-3 3-4 4-6 6-9 >10
cubic metre)
Rock quality designation >90
75- 90 50- 75 20- 50 <20
Modulus of elasticily GPa 46 25 15 10 1.5
Modulus of deformation - 32 17 9 3 0.1
Unit weight - kN/m' 26 26 25 23 17
Poisson's ratio 0.2 0.22 0.25 0.3
1.2 0.9 0.6 0.4
Cohesion - MPa 1.5 1.3
0.8 0.3 0.05
Table 5: Classification system for altered rock
Alteration grade
% montmorillonite
% clay
Disintegration time in water
<1 day
<1 week
>1 month
Table 6: Stress regime at level of main caverns
Stress direction
Vertical stress
Major principal horizontal stress
Minor principal horizontal stress
Relationship to depth
s, =O.032z MPa
SH =0.032z MPa
Sh =0.019z MPa
normal to cavern axis
parallel with cavern axis
given by s, =0.027z where z is the depth-below
ground level in metres. In the present case, the
measured vertical stresses are generally greater
than this. The best fit for the data is s, =0.032z.
The major horizontal stress SH shows
considerably more scatter than the vertical stress
but the overall trend is very similar and given by
SH =0.033z.
The minor principal horizontal stress generally
shows less scatter than the other two stresses
and has the following trend with depth : s, =
Over 70 hydrofracture stress measurements
were carried out by the Earth's Crust Stress
Research Institute of the State Bureau of
Seismology in ten boreholes. Although the results
showed a considerable amount of scatter, they
correlated moderately well with the results from the
overcoring tests.
On the basis of the above results, the stress
regime assumed for the preliminary analyses of the
caverns was assumed to be as shown in Table 6.
Reser voi r wi t h l i mi t ed
i nt er connect i on
Seal i ng due 10
di si nt egr at i on
Figure 9: Effect of alteration zones on rock
mass reservoirs
12.8 MPa
13.2 MPa
7.6 MPa
4.1 Excavation sequence
The sequence adopted for the excavation of the
Machine Hall involved the following stages:
Stage 1 : Central pilot heading along crown
of Machine Hall
Stage 2: Slashing of sides to develop full
span in Machine Hall
Stage 3: Central bench excavation
Stage 4: Side slashing
Stages 5 - 9: Benching excavations typically
about 5m in height.
St r ess magni 1ude MPa
10 15 20
~ 200

-+ Vor 1i caJ st r ess Sz
o Mi nor hor i zont al st r ess Sh
Ma/Or hor i zont al st r ess SH
Legend l or l i nes :
A : Sh ver sus dept h
B : Theor et i cal over bur den st r ess = 0.027z
C : Sz ver sus dept h
D : SH ver sus dept h
Figure 10: Stress versus depth relationships
for overcoring tests
4.2 Rock support
The main cavern excavations are supported by
means of untensioned grouted dowels and
shotcrete. The first layer of shotcrete was primarily
intended to prevent rock loosening and to provide a
smooth surface so that the mesh could be placed in
reasonably close contact with the excavation
surface. The mesh reinforcement for the shotcrete
lining was fabricated from srnme bars and had a
200mm aperture. This was then fastened to Brnrntp
profiling bars which were fixed to the walls on a
1.5msquare grid. The mesh and profiling bars were
secured at each crossover by the pattern bolts and
the centre of each mesh panel was fixed against the
shotcrete by means of an S-hook. Shotcrete was
then applied in two further layers, each with a
minimum thickness of SOmm. In view of the
presence of the Drainage Gallery and its associated
drainage measures, a regular array of drainholes
through the shotcrete was not considered necessary
and drainholes were provided only in specific areas
of seepage.
The typical pattern of rock reinforcement is
shown on Figure 11 and mainly involved 2S<p
cement-grouted rebars with lengths ranging from 3
to 7m. The reinforcement for the Machine Hall was
as follows:
3.7m2S$bars on a 1.srn grid
S.3mto 7m2S$bars on a 1.Smgrid
Sidewalls: Alternating 7mand 4.3m 2S$bars on
a 1.Smgrid; spot bolting only beneath
elevations of mass concrete (208m)
The above bolting patterns were based on an
assessment of the geological mapping of the roof
and sidewalls and took into account the
kinematically possible failure mechanisms. For the
discontinuity sets shown in Figure 8, the wedges
formed by combinations of these are generally quite
small and steep sided with little bolting being
needed to stabilise these. Additionally, the bolts
were intended to support the blast-damaged zone
around the excavation. Experience on other power
houses in China indicated that the blast damaged
zone was about 1.2mdeep but observations on this
scheme indicated that blast damage was generally
less than this depth.
The amount of support installed is quite low by
comparison with precedent practice and reflects the
excellent rock mass conditions and good excavation
practice employed by the Contractor.
As well as the pattern bolting noted above,
localised support measures were used where
geological inspections identified kinematically
feasible failure mechanisms. One of the largest
such mechanisms was associated with a major fault
which daylighted near the toe of the western end of
the Machine Hall. The gable end of the Machine
Hall strikes at NW100 compared with the fault strike
of NW25, with the fault dipping at about SO-5Soto
the southeast. The fault had a true thickness of
All boltsarecement-groutedrebarsfrom3.7to7minlength
All otherboltsare25mmdiameter
Figure 11: Rock support installed in main caverns
about 2mwith a well defined kaolinite seamat the
upper interface with the rock mass. This area was
particularly critical since the Loading Bay was
directly above the fault and deadweights for the
crane testing needed to be placed there at an early
stage. The total volume of the potential wedge of
material above the fault was about 10,000 tonnes.
A significant amount of cracking was noted in the
Construction Access Tunnel within the gable end of
the Machine Hall. Followinga detailed evaluationof
the problem, it was concluded that the cracking was
mainly related to stress relief at the end of the
Machine Hall and that the wedge could be
adequately stabilised with rock reinforcement since
there were no obvious vertical release surfaces for
the wedge and the in situ stresses provided a
considerable stabilising action for any potential
Additional boltingwas also installedas part of the
crane beaminstallation(see later section).
4.3 Observed behaviour
Monitoring of the underground excavations involved
the use of sliding micrometers, multipoint borehole
extensometers and convergence meters. Apart
fromareas of local loosening associated with locally
adverse geological structures, the rock mass
generally showed only minor response to the
excavation process. The maximum deformation in
the crown of the Machine Hall was generally about
3mm as measured by the sliding micrometers.
Convergence across the 22m span cavern was
generally less than 10mm as measured by tape
Comparison of the observed deformations with
those predicted by stress-strain analyses indicated
that the in situ modulus of elasticity was about 60
GPa. Apart from locally anomalies caused by
instruments crossing major discontinuities, the rock
mass essentiallybehavedas an elastic material.
InlinewithChinese practice on earlier power house
caverns, the crane beam for the Guangzhou
Machine Hall has been constructed as a reinforced
concrete bracket anchored to the sidewalls with
grouted dowels. The geometry of the beam is
shownon Figure 12. The crane toadonthe beamis
432tonnevertical and6 tonne horizontal, equivalent
to about 400 kN/mvertical and 40 kN/mhorizontal.
The beam is located on a sidewall haunch with a
nominal shape of 20 from the vertical. Support to
the beamwas provided by upward and downward
inclined32mmq>dowels at 600to 800mmcentres.
An extensive monitoring programme was carried
out during test loading of the crane beam. This
em l ong 81
600mr n cent r es
32mmbar s
6m l ong at
eOOmm cerures
Cr ane beam
1.6mwi de by deep
Figure 12: Crane beam in Machine Hall
included boltmeters, rebar strain gauges, crack
meters, vibrating wire gauges in the concrete and
strain gauges on the surface of the concrete beam.
Rebar strain gauges at 0.8m to 3m from the
beam/sidewall interface showed only minor
increases in stress on loading and no stress
changes were measured in gauges more than 3m
from the theoretical interface. No cracking was
observed during crane beamloading nor was there
any response from adjacent MPBX's. When the
crane beam was unloaded, the monitoring
instruments returnedto their zero position indicating
consistent elastic behaviour.
6. 1 Pressure tunnel layout
Thevarious options considered for the arrangement
of the High Pressure Shafts and Tunnels included
Avertical shaft
An upper vertical shaft, an intermediate
horizontal tunnel anda lower vertical shaft
A singleshaft inclinedat 50
An upper inclined shaft at 50, an intermediate
horizontal shaft anda lower inclinedshaft
The designers' preference for the inclined shaft
option in Stage I rather than the vertical option was
The total length of the waterway was reduced by
several hundredmetres.
The overall hydraulic efficiency of the scheme
was improved.
For Stage II, the preference for the inclined shaft
option was strengthened because of the fact that
the slipforming equipment had been purchased for
Stage I and represented a capital value of about $3
millionUS dollars.
Although the construction and safety
disadvantages of inclined shafts are well
recognised, the GPSJ VC made the decision to
adopt inclined shafts on the basis of their theoretical
operational benefits. In the event, the excavation
and lining of the shafts for both stages were
successfully executed without any undue
construction problems.
6.2 High pressure test gallery
A high pressure test gallery was excavated and
monitored as part of the design validation process
for the waterway system. The gallery was located
about 35m above the Stage I manifold and had the
same orientation as the latter. The excavation was
made in Class I-II rock of similar quality to the actual
manifold conditions. The test area was constructed
to half scale. The main tunnel section was 34m
long and 4m diameter. A branch tunnel 12m long,
1.75m diameter was oriented in the same direction
as the penstocks. Both tunnels were lined with
O.3mthick reinforced concrete.
Tests were carried out in the following pressure
2 Mpa in increasing and decreasing steps of 0.5
4 Mpa in increasing and decreasing stages of 1,
2, 2.5, 3, 3.5 and 4 Mpa
Testing was also proposed at 5 Mpa but only 5.5
Mpa could be reached because of limitations with
the pumping equipment.
The test gallery was comprehensively monitored
with 12 arrays of instruments in the main and
branch tunnels. For the 5.5 Mpa test, the main
tunnel showed -0.24mm convergence in a near-
vertical direction and + 0.44mm extension on the 45
axis pointing down and away from the branch
tunnel. Observed water pressures in the rock mass
Within 2m of the lining were generally slightly lower
than the water pressure in the tunnel. The rate of
seepage per unit area of the tunnel was 1.8
lttres/sec/jooorn" - however seepage through the
plug affected this result and the actual seepage into
the rock would have been considerably lower than
this figure. Despite the fact that the branch test
tunnel was only 20m from the Drainage Gallery and
27m from the Machine Hall, no seepage was noted
in adjacent galleries as a result of the high pressure
6.3 Excavation of the inclined shafts
Initial excavations in the inclined shaft consisted of a
raised pilot tunnel 2m x 2m in dimension located
along the invert of the full shaft diameter. These
Were undertaken for exploratory purposes and to
provide a mucking facility for the main excavation.
During these excavations, a number of faults,
fractured zones and seepage zones were
The equipment used for shaft slashing consisted
of 8 no. hand-held drills, a platform for transporting
material and a working platform from which drilling,
charging and rock support were carried out. The
working face was normal to the 50 shaft. The blast
pattern used about 200 blastholes producing an
average advance rate per round of 3m and an
average monthly advance' rate of 50m.
Rock support in the inclined shafts comprised
spot bolting and shotcrete in the Class I-II rock and
pattern bolting in the remaining rock. pattern bolting
consisted of 2.5m long, 25mm rebars on a 1.2 to
1.5m grid. Shotcrete thickness ranged from 100mm
to 150mm thick and incorporated mesh
reinforcement for the poorer rock mass quality.
Heavier reinforcement was required in slashing
through some of the fault zones. For example,
slashing through a 16m section of one of the major
faults in the Upper Inclined Shaft took over six
weeks with the face advance being reduced to
1.5m, bolting increased to a 0.7m grid and shotcrete
thickness increased to 250mm with mesh in some
locations. Swellex bolts were used for some of the
temporary support in the shafts.
The main problems connected with the driving of
the inclined shafts were:
Difficult working' conditions for drilling, grouting
and rock support because of the irreqular invert
caused by high overbreak in many areas and the
fact that the platform had to be offset to allow for
installation of services.
Ventilation problems due to marked differences
in temperature between the upper and lower
reservoirs and because of material choking up
the pilot raise
Choking of muck in the pilot raise
Safety problems connected with the installation of
rails and dowels above the working platform for
subsequent slipforming operations and the
requirement to periodically clear out the mucking
raise when it became blocked.
6.4 Concrete lining
The permanent support of the shafts comprised a
reinforced concrete lining O.6m thick. Lining was
carried out by means of a hybrid slipforming
technique in steps of 12.5m. The lining
incorporated waterstops at cold joints. The rate at
which lining was carried out was between 4m and
7m per day once the operation overcame initial
setting up difficulties.
6.5 Grouting of hydraulic tunnels
Low pressure tunnels
Initially, it was envisaged that grouting of the Low
Pressure Tunnels would be made in arrays of 10 no.
5m long boreholes at 2.5m spacing along the
tunnels, regardless of the rock quality. An extensive
programme of test grouting in different rock quality
provided valuable data which allowed the following
design procedure to be adopted:
All rockclasses Cavity grouting plus
consolidation grouting only
when water pressure tests
indicate Lugeon values above 3.
For lowgrout takes, holes below
springline were omitted.
Maximum grouting pressure of
1 Mpa used.
Class I and II Borehole length of 2.5m with
grouting only above springline
Class III Borehole lengths 3m above
springline and 4mbelow
Class IV As per original design
High pressure tunnels
A high pressure grouting trial was carried out in the
High Pressure Test Gallery with three different types
of grouting being used to improve the rock:
Backfill grouting in the crown of the test tunnels
Contact grouting in 1.25m long holes
High pressure grouting in 4m long holes
Contact grouting used a pressure of 1 Mpa while
high pressure grouting was made in four stages up
to 6.1 Mpa. The rock mass in the test area was
Class I-II with few discontinuities and a low
conductivity. Water injection tests were carried out
in 42 boreholes and the maximum reported Lugeon
value was 1.55.
Most of the rock mass along the waterways
consists of high quality granite and high pressure
grouting would not be effective in improving this.
rock quality, but would help to prestress the lining
and improve the blast damaged zone close to the
tunnel periphery. Consequently, the boreholes in
good quality rock (Class I and II) were restricted to
about 2m in order to just penetrate the blast
damaged zone which was generally about 0.8m
thick. Grouting pressures in the inclined shafts had
to be restricted depending on the amount of
overburden pressure.
6.6 Initial filling of the waterway system
Initial filling of the Stage I hydraulic tunnels was
carried out in February 1993 with the tunnels being
temporarily dewatered for a brief period in late
J une/early J uly of the same year. The water inflow
to the Stage I Power House increased quite
significantly in the first six months of operation from
4.5 m%r to about 20 m%r in early 1994. The main
cause of the inflow was considered to be associated
with the No 3 Penstock. The upstream sidewall in
the Power House initially became damp and inflows
became apparent in the Power House itself. By
J anuary 1994, the seepage area had reached the
crane beam at elevation 229m, and by February it
had reached the beam for the false ceiling.
Drainage boreholes at various orientations
(vertical, inclined and subhorizontal) were drilled
from the drainage gallery close to Penstock No 3 in
early 1994. These remedial works appeared to fulfil
their purpose in that the total inflow stabilised at
about 20-25 m
/hr until J une 1994. However water
inflows had increased to about 45 m
/hr by late
The cause of the seepage was considered to be
due to poor sealing of the grouting holes through
the steel lined section of the penstocks. Inspections
made after the initial test filling indicated that about
5% of the grout hole sin Penstock No 3 were
defective and yielding water. Leakage from these
holes followed a path along the blast damaged
zones around the tunnels and Machine Hall,
eventually reaching above the springline of the main
cavern some 40m above the initial points of
In March 1995, in connection with a stoppage at
Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station, the GPSJ VC
decided to dewater the hydraulic tunnels in order to
investigate the reasons for the leakage and to
undertake additional remedial actions. Dewatering
was done at a rate of about 5 m/hr and took a total
of one week. After emptying, the steel lining and
the groutholes were inspected. 42 groutholes were
found to be defective with four of these having open
holes, the largest of which was 7 by 10mm. The old
seals were removed and the backfill concrete was
found to be absent in some cases. Remedial works
were carried out and the re-filling of the tunnel
started just over one week after the tunnels had
been dewatered. When the tunnels were
refilled, the total inflow was found to be only about
3.6 m
/hr compared with the 43 m
/hr before the
remedial works.
Analysis of the data collected during the two
filling/emptying cycles indicated that the maximum
external pressure head acting on the concrete lining
was about 200m maximum when dewatering was
carried out at a rate of 5-6 m/hr.
The Guangzhou Pumped Storage Power Station
has been a notable construction project from the
perspective of both China and the international
scene. Apart from the fact that, when completed, it
will be the largest pumped storage scheme in the
world, the project has set a number of milestones
for speed of construction and cost per installed kW.
The combination of good rock quality and good
construction practice has enabled rock
reinforcement in the main caverns to be kept to very
low levels by comparison with precedent practice.
The Stage I scheme is also notable in that the
waterways have been dewatered twice shortly after
initial filling. This has provided an opportunity to
assess the external water pressures acting on the
linings while at the same time carrying out remedial
measures to reduce water inflows into the main
Cheng Xuemin
Hydropower development in China
Proc. Instn Civ. Engrs Civ. Engng, 102, No.1,