ICOLD delegates find opportunities, challenges in Eurasian hydro

Delegates to an international meeting on large dams learned this week the potential is great, and the challenges are significant, for developers of hydropower in the vast nations of eastern Europe and Central Asia.

More than 800 dam owners, builders, and designers from more than 60 countries gathered June 24-29 in St. Petersburg for the 75th annual meeting of the International Commission on Large Dams.

The host Russian National Committee on Dams, led a June 25 workshop, �Dams and Hydropower in Russia and in the Confederated States.� Seven speakers shared information about hydro development in Russia, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan.

They agreed that, while potential for additional hydro development in these countries is great, challenges are significant, including extreme irregularity in the distribution of the potential, the remoteness of potential sites from load centers, and a shortage of investment funds.

President Vyacheslav Sinyugin of Russia’s HydroOGK advocated for countries to work together toward hydro development.

�In some cases, one country cannot afford construction of large hydropower projects, and development of hydro potential becomes feasible only by pooling up technological and financial resources of several countries,� he said.

Sinyugin said HydroOGK, Russia’s federal hydropower generating company, wants to double its power output by 2020. HydroOGK, which is being spun off from utility Unified Energy Systems, is to become the world’s second largest hydropower generation company, after Canada’s Hydro-Quebec, combining more than 50 hydroelectric stations and 23,300 MW of installed capacity.

Sinyugin said the company is pursuing public-private partnership arrangements for development of much of its new hydropower, and is already in discussions with a �number of European power companies and private investors.� Earlier this month, it was announced HydroOGK and its corporate allies are to receive 6.62 billion rubles (US$254.8 million) for comprehensive development of South Yakutia, including a cascade of hydropower projects on the Timpton River. (HNN 6/12/07)

Ukraine to complete three pumped-storage projects

Director General Vladimir A. Osadchuk of the Ukraine’s Ukrhydroproject Ltd. said plans for hydro development in his country include completing construction of three pumped-storage projects: 1,050-MW Dniester, 905-MW Tashlyk, and 500-MW Kaniv; rehabilitating the country’s fleet of aging hydro plants, including small hydro; and constructing 1,200 MW of new capacity at sites on the Tisa and Upper Dniester rivers. (HNN 6/15/07)

Kazakhstan wants to build 20 new hydro plants totaling 950 MW over the next 20 years. That represents an investment of US$1.8 billion, Chief Engineer I. Ya. Vilkovisskiy of CJSC KazHydroproject said. He said the new capacity would improve the country’s ability to meet peak electricity demands. (HNN 6/12/07)

The Ministry of Energy and Industry of Tajikistan is developing a series of plants on the Vakhsh River, said Hamid Arifov, head of the ministry’s power research division. Projects under development on the river are 670-MW Sangtuda 1, 220-MW Sangtuda 2, and 3,600-MW Rogun. (HNN 5/1/07) Plants already operating on the river include 600-MW Baipaza (HNN 12/4/06) and 3,000-MW Nurek, which have been earmarked for rehabilitation work. (HNN 11/14/06) These projects are being built along one of the most active seismic zones of Tajikistan.

During ICOLD’s 75th annual meeting, the work of technical committees is scheduled to discuss aspects of construction and operation of large dams and other hydraulic structures. The meeting also includes technical exhibitions and tours of some of the world’s largest dams.

Previous articleU.K. fears dam collapse as floods kill three
Next articleUPDATE – Contact date announced for Armenia small hydro work

No posts to display