SediCon Sluicers at Coca Codo Sinclair: a major breakthrough in sediment handling

Monday 11th July 2016 the SediCon Sluicers of Coca Codo Sinclair were operated for the first time, discharging 3000 m3 sediments back into the Coca River in Ecuador. The 40 SediCon Sluicers at Coca Sinclair use only gravity and a minimum of water to remove the sediments, and water supply through desanders is uninterrupted. The only movable parts in this remarkable system is the outlet gates, which can be operated locally or remotely.

During their first operation, all SediCon Sluicers performed flawlessly. Within seconds after opening the flushing gates sediments were continuously discharged until all sediments above the SediCon Sluicers were removed. An advanced monitoring system allows operators to see sediment levels in the desanders, to operate the system and to monitor flushing gates as well as all relevant parameters of the system. The system can also operate the gates automatically at pre-set sediment levels.

The 1500 MW Coca Codo Sinclair is, together with Nathpa Jhakri in India one of the two largest high-head hydropower plants in the world. At Coca Codo Sinclair, the SediCon Sluicers allowed a dam that creates only 8 meter head, whereas the desanders are 14 meters deep. Sediments are therefore discharged at level much higher than the bottom of the desanders only 5,5 meters below the water surface. The Installation of 40 SediCon Sluicers is of unprecedented size and complexity, and the successful operation of the SediCon Sluicers is a major technological breakthrough as it proves that SediCon Sluicers can be used in power plants of all sizes, in open as well as underground desanders.

The Norwegian company SediCon AS specializes purely in sediment handling. Its in-house developed technologies use gravity as the driving force, and allows uninterrupted water supply during sediment removal from intakes, desanders, gravel traps or reservoirs. SediCon has subsidiaries in Costa Rica and India as well as representatives in a range of countries. The successful installation at Coca Codo Sinclair comes after years of development of the technology and several minor projects all of them where the technology has worked perfectly for as long as 16 years. The technology is now well established in the market; only in 2016, SediCon has entered into five new contracts for SediCon Sluicers.