Russia republic welcomes French cooperation on small hydro

Russian hydropower executives from Dagestan Republic have returned home from France, bearing pledges of French cooperation to help develop Dagestan’s hydro resources as well as a Small-Size Hydropower Plants Program for the Russian Federation.

General Director Timur Gamzatov of JSC Regional Power Generation Co. of Dagestan (Dagenergo) met with reporters July 12 to discuss the three-day visit to Grenoble, France, to establish long-term business contacts with leading European manufacturers of hydro equipment. The Russians hope to begin production of the newest hydropower equipment in Russia according to the engineering of European specialists.

Electricite de France (EDF) played host to the delegation, whose goal was to meet with manufacturers of special equipment for small hydropower plants. The delegation met with representatives of Alstom, Mecamidi, ETS Labarges, and Hydreo Group. Delegates also visited an Alstom factory and the Alban des Villiards small hydro plant.

Dagenergo, EDF to cooperate on Agvali

During the visit, parties reached an agreement that in August Dagenergo and EDF will sign a contract for an expert estimation of the proposed construction of the Agvali hydroelectric project.

Dagenergo officials said cooperation with the French hydro industry would help develop Dagestan’s power industry and would advance the Small-size Hydropower Plants Program being developed for the Russian Federation by Russian hydropower holding company JSC HydroOGK.

Earlier this year, the European Commission indicated it would contract for consultants to assist in renewable energy policy and rehabilitation of small hydropower plants in Russia.

Dagenergo and the Dagestan government formed an agreement with HydroOGK in June to reform Dagestan’s hydropower complex and to draw on Dagestan’s experience with small hydro. Dagestan, which is located on the shore of the Caspian Sea, has utilized only 10 percent of its hydropower potential, which is estimated at 16,000 MW.

HydroOGK plans to employ Dagenergo’s progressive small-hydro technology, named Prometheus, in Dagenergo’s North Caucasus region and in other regions of Russia. The Bavtugai, Gunib, Akhti, and Agvali hydro projects in Dagestan already are employing the technology.

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