VIDEO: Barrier Rehabilitation for Pumped Storage Plant, Germany

The latest video from NAUE tells the story of the pumped storage plant barrier rehabilitation in Hohenwarte, Germany. The project provided an essential update a half-century-old site. Geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) has been the centerpiece of the sealing system’s update.

“We have an upper reservoir with two concrete dams and a rockfill dam provided with a clay seal,” says Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Beyer, the head of the storage plant’s operations for the Vattenfall Wasserkraft company. “After 50 years of operation, this seal must be rehabilitated.”
Over 4 months, crews have prepped the site and installed geocomposite drainage support (Secudrain®) and geosynthetic clay liner (Bentofix®). The GCL is covered by 1.2m of sand and hydraulic revetment.
A fly over of the site in the video offers an interesting view of the various engineering works, with inset windows identifying stages such as GCL installation and panel overlap, geocomposite installation, cover placement, clay wedge renewal, and more.


Pumped storage systems are highly efficient means for balancing electrical grids. Water can be stored during non-peak times and released at peak into the hydroelectric generation system. In this way, strain on the system and the cost of responding to fluctuating electrical demands decreases. The Hohenwarte plant features eight 40 MW units for a total power capacity of 320 MW and a 700-meter long piping system that connects the water reservoir with the powerhouse.
With geosynthetic barrier support, the Hohenwarte site is primed for continued long-term success. The barrier will improve water retention and security, and the operation will continue to provide efficient support of the region’s electrical demands.
Learn more about geosynthetics and affiliated engineering services at
View the pumped storage project video and others (e.g., landfills, coastal protection, underwater installations) at NAUE’s YouTube channel.
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