Sian Crampsie

Energo-Pro reports that it has started filling the reservoir of the Karakurt hydropower plant in eastern Turkey after completing construction work in early February.

The 99.5 MW power project on the Aras River will help Turkey to reduce its dependence on energy imports. Testing of the first turbine unit will start in May when reservoir filling is complete, Energo-Pro said.

The company’s Turkish subsidiary started construction of the 137 m-high asphalt core dam in 2017. Construction of the power plant started a year later, it said.

“With nearly 100 MW of installed capacity, Karakurt will be one of our three largest power plants. It is also an important reference for us, we were able to complete the construction according to the timetable and with significant financial savings compared to the original prognosis,” said Pavel Váňa, CEO of the Energo-Pro Group, which has its headquarters in Prague.

The project features a gravity dam with an asphalt sealing core – among the largest of its kind in the world. “This technology is still very rarely used in Turkey, as the laying of asphalt requires considerable precision both in the design of the mix and in the construction itself. In this respect, the investor plays an important role and must have the whole process closely monitored,” said Celal Kozumali, Director of Energo-Pro Turkey.

The plant will be connected to the grid by two electric lines. The first is 7 km long, the second 40 km.