450-MW Rudbar Lorestan hydroelectric plant opens in Iran

The 450-MW Rudbar Lorestan (or Rudbar) hydroelectric plant has begun operating in Iran, according to multiple news agencies.

The Rudbar powerhouse, on the Rudbar River along the Zagros Mountains in Lorestan Province, contains two 225-MW vertical Francis turbine-generator units that are expected to produce 986 GWh of electricity annually, according to Iran Energy News Agency.

The launch of this station “is in line with efforts to boost electricity generation from non-fossil fuel sources, including from hydro power, and reduce harmful emissions,” Iran Energy News Agency says. The plant is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 626 tons per year, according to the Iran Water & Power Resources Development Co.

A total of 2.2 trillion rials (nearly US$578 million) was spent on the power station, with nearly 85% of the funds provided by China Gezhouba Group Corporation, according to Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian, who inaugurated the facility last week. Chitchian noted Iran has the capacity to raise hydroelectric power to 30,000 MW. Installed capacity of thermal plants is 61,000 MW, along with 12,000 MW of hydropower and about 240 MW from renewables including wind and solar.

China and Iran signed an agreement to build the plant in October 2007. Construction of the project began in April 2011. In September 2016, HydroWorld.com reported that China Gezhouba Group completed construction of the 153-meter-high clay-core, rock-filled dam with an open spillway and two 3.4-km-long water diversion systems.

Other hydro projects being built in Iran include the 130-MW Chamshir facility in Kohgiluyeh-Boyer Ahmad Province and the 750-MW Bakhtiari station in Lorestan Province.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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