Russia starts turbine at Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant

Russia restarted on Wednesday one unit at its biggest hydropower plant, halted since an explosion killed 75 workers last August, wire reports indicate.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, in the control room of Siberia’s Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant, pushed the button to start one of the plant’s turbines.

The Sayano-Shushenskaya hydro project had a capacity of 6,400 MW.

The plant was shut down for safety checks after the 2009 accident and is not expected to return to full capacity until 2014. The sixth turbine, launched on Wednesday, has an installed capacity of 640 MW, or about one tenth of the plant’s total.

The repairs are estimated to cost about $1.3 billion. RusHydro aims to raise up to $662.7 million through an additional share issue this year to help pay for repairs. The fifth turbine will be launched in March, wire reports indicate.

Russian equipment supplier JSC Power Machines has agreed to supply 10 turbines, nine generators and six excitation systems to the damaged Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric plant. (HydroWorld 12/1/09)

England’s Sheffield Forgemasters International (SFIL) will be supplying hydro shafts for three replacement units as reconstruction work gets under way. The shafts, each weighing more than 100 tons, connect the turbine runner to the generator. (HydroWorld 2/23/10)

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