Russian US$2.6 billion investment helps put 3,000-MW Boguchany hydroelectric power plant online

Officials from Russia’s Boguchany Energy and Metals Complex (BEMO) announced its joint project between UC RUSAL and RusHydro is generating hydroelectric power. The project’s 3,000-MW Boguchany hydroelectric power plant (Boguchany HPP) on the Angara River in Kodinsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Siberia, Russia, is complete after its ninth and final generator was commissioned, Dec. 22.

Published estimates from Russian state-owned organizations indicate US$2.6 billion was spent completing BEMO, which includes Boguchany HPP and Boguchany aluminum smelter. The complex is one of the largest combined public and private investment ventures attempted in Russia since 1990.

UC RUSAL is the world’s largest aluminum producer, and according to the Moscow-based company, in 2012 it accounted for 9% of global aluminum production. RusHydro is one of Russia’s largest power-generating companies with 36.5 GW installed electricity generation capacity. Its main corporate offices are also based in Moscow.

Boguchany HPP’s primary objective is to annually produce about 10.4 billion kWh of reliable electricity for the Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk regions to power the smelter, planned railways, a new paper mill and residential areas. Owners also think the hydroelectric facility will help end power shortages within Siberia and provide energy to develop natural resources in the Evenkiya region too include its forests, gold and other mineral deposits.

Boguchany HPP

Boguchany HPP includes the following:

• Concrete gravity dam — 79 meters high by 774 meters long by 79 meters wide
• Total length of the power station — Including the dam, about 2.5 kilometers long
• Powerhouse — Nine 333-MW Francis turbines
• Installed capacity — 3,000 MW
• Boguchany Reservoir approximations:

o Total capacity — 47.1 million acre-feet
o Active capacity — 1.9 million acre-feet
o Catchment area — 320,900 square miles
o Surface area — 900 square miles
o Maximum water depth — About 250 feet

St. Petersburg-based Power Machines (Silovye Machiny), a Russian engineering company that specializes in producing turbines other electrical equipment needed for powerhouse infrastructure, designed and manufactured the turbines.

The hydroelectric project was first envisioned in 1947, according to Russian news agencies. But, it suffered decades of delays mainly due to the lack of funding for continued development. The Boguchany HPP construction site also experienced tragedy in 2007 when strong winds caused a tower crane to collapse, killing four operators.

The first three Boguchany HPP Units began operation November 2012, according to RusHydro. The fourth hydropower Unit launched January 2013; Unit 5 on Nov. 5, 2013; Unit 6 on Dec. 6, 2013; and Units 7 and 8 in September 2014.

Power of power

The plant began to supply the commercial wholesale electricity market Dec. 1, 2012. Since its launch, Boguchany HPP has generated 13 TWh of electricity. The company said, for nine months of 2014 it has paid more than RUB1.3 billion (US$23.7 million) to the federal and regional budgets.

Russian officials said the project will not only provide electricity to South-Central Siberia, “Boguchany HPP will also preserve human resources and ease tension in the labor market by creating 10,000 new jobs, both during construction and during operation of the new industrial facilities.”

Officials estimate that more than 50% of the installed-equipment at BEMO was supplied by Russian companies, too include 30% of products supplied by companies located in Krasnoyarsk.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for

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