En+ Group to replace six units at 4.5-GW Bratsk hydropower plant

En+ Group announces it has begun replacing six hydraulic units at the its 4.5-GW Bratsk hydropower plant, on the Angara River in Russia, as part of its “New Energy” modernization program.

The total investment for this stage of the project is more than RUB1.5 billion (US$20.3 million). The work is planned to take place from 2021 to 2026 and will result in replacement of all 18 impellers (12 were replaced during the earlier stages of the modernization program in 2007 to 2010 and 2014 to 2017).

En+ Group says it is the world’s leading producer of low-carbon aluminum and largest private sector generator of hydropower.

Specialists from the Bratsk HPP and LLC EuroSibEnergo-Hydrogeneration oversaw laboratory tests on the new hydro turbine model, as well as on its operation in various load modes. Turbine and impeller models of the hydraulic unit were developed and manufactured at a scale of 1:10 for the tests. Tests included a sample view of measuring transducers, determining the efficiency and power of the units, cavitation and acceleration tests, video surveillance of the flow structure, and random tests on individual elements of the hydro turbine’s flow part. These tests suggest that the efficiency of the new hydro turbine will be 96.51%, which is almost 5% higher than the performance of existing hydroelectric units.

“We are continuing our work under the “New Energy” program at all of our hydroelectric power plants in 2021,” said Mikhail Hardikov, head of En+ Group’s energy sector. “The results obtained during the first stages of the program have already justified our investment in the project. All 12 new impellers at the Bratsk HPP have already demonstrated improvements in all key areas. Their efficiency has increased, and the HPP has been able to generate additional electricity without increasing its water consumption. The impellers that we will install this year are also designed to increase efficiency at the HPP.”

The New Energy program, implemented at the Angara-Yenisei cascade HPPs (Ust-Ilimsk, Bratsk, Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk), is a key investment project of En+ Group’s energy sector, which is worth RUB21 billion (US$283.7 million). The program as launched in 2007 and will run until 2046.One of the core priorities is to improve the reliability and safety of all stations. The comprehensive replacement of not only the main equipment like hydraulic units and impellers, but also auxiliary equipment, will be carried out under the program.

It is expected that, from 2022, En+ Group’s Siberian hydroelectric power plants will increase their electricity production by 2 billion kWh due to the program. This will reduce the group’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2.3 million tons per year.

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