This week is VODOHOSPODÁRSKA VÝSTAVBA, ŠTÁTNY PODNIK (VV, š. p.) testing a new auxiliary upper gate – “Flap on the upper header of the right lock chamber”. Testing of the right chamber, which will require an extraordinary lowering of the water level on the Gabčíkovo stage by approximately 2 metres, will be carried out together with the general contractor on the European project “Upgrade of Gabčíkovo locks”.

The test of the flap in the modernized right  lock chamber is necessary to be carried out at the lowered upper level of the upper water on the Gabčíkovo stage. With special handling to the required dimension 129 m above sea level will start from Wednesday 28th July 2021 at 01:00 a.m. The flap test will be carried out on Friday 30th July 2021, according to the schedule of work. Subsequently, a gradual increase of the water level will take place from 06:00 p.m. Depending on the hydrological situation on the Danube it can take three to five days to reach the normal operating level at the Gabčíkovo stage.

“Testing the functionality of individual elements of the modernized lock chamber is one of the most important tasks in this modernization and innovation. We have to be 100% sure that all the equipment and components work as they should,” emphasized Vladimír Kollár, General Director of VODOHOSPODÁRSKA VÝSTAVBA, ŠTÁTNY PODNIK.

The flap is designed to allow hatching (partial locking) for a 1.1 m drop in water when the flap is in upright position. Other functions of the flap are possible emergency use as an upper gate barrier of the chamber or as a replacement for an upper chamber door at the upper water level at a height of 129.00 m above sea level.

The interruption of water transport as part of the extraordinary handling is not expected, but there may be narrowing of the fairway in certain sections. The impact of the extraordinary handling on the operation of the Vojka-Kyselica compass is also not foreseen.

With regard to the individual upgraded devices of the right chamber, individual tests are currently being completed and preparations for comprehensive tests are underway. The comprehensive tests, will test all modes of the right lock chamber (flooding, hatch operation, etc.) and the interaction of the newly installed structures and the control system in manual, semi-automatic and automatic modes. Finally, a 12-day test operation of the right lock chamber will be carried out to verify the readiness of the upgrade lock for real navigation operation. After the completion of all tests, will start the simultaneous operation of both locks. Only then will VV, š. p. proceed to the shut down of the left lock and its modernization will begin. The exact date will depend on the successful completion of all tests.

The project Upgrade of Gabcikovo Locks is co-financed from European Union funds. The grant from the CEF – Connecting Europe Facility approved in 2016 represents a coverage of EUR 122,965,250 (excluding VAT). The main activities of the project include mostly, the modernization of the upper and lower gates, the innovation of the chamber filling and draining system, the stabilization of the subsoil and the implementation of an expert control system.

The author is solely responsible for all the information used in the article. The European Union is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.