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First units commissioned at the Çetin plant in Turkey

The Çetin hydro plant has a planned total installed capacity of 420 MW and the remaining two units are expected to begin operating by mid-year.

Limak Enerji, one of Turkey’s leading privately owned power producers, announced on 12 April the beginning of commercial operation of the first two units at the 420 MW Çetin storage hydropower plant on the river Botan, in the southeastern province of Siirt.

Limak Enerji, the energy division of the Limak Holding, said that the first two of four planned units had been accepted for operation by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, following testing.

With a planned total installed capacity of 420 MW, the Çetin hydro plant, directly downstream of the confluence of the Botan and Büyük rivers, is designed to produce 1.174 TWh/year when all units have been commissioned. The re­maining two units are scheduled to begin operation in the second quarter of this year.

The Çetin plant will be equipped with three 137 MW Francis turbines and generators supplied by Andritz Hydro, under a contract signed in 2011 with former owner Statkraft, as well as a small 6 MW eco-flow unit. Andritz Hydro confirmed on 21 April that the first main unit and the eco-flow unit had been commissioned, with the remaining two main units scheduled to begin commercial operation by the end of April and end of May, respectively. Impounding of the reservoir began in January after Limak Enerji had completed construction of the dam. With a height of 165 m, it will be one of the country’s largest RCC dams.

Limak Construction took over construction of the project, which also includes the planned Lower Çetin dam and associated hydropower plant, from Statkraft of Norway in 2017. Statkraft gained rights to the 517 MW project in 2009, when it purchased a 95 per cent interest in the Turkish hydropower developer Yesil Enerji from Global Yatirim. Construction on the main dam began in December 2011, and the main dam and powerplant were expected to be completed in 2015. However, following a series of delays resulting from the resumption of a conflict between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, Statkraft suspended construction in February 2016, and sold the project rights to the partially completed facility in Sep­tember 2017.

The future of the Lower Çetin plant, which was to be located about 6 km downstream, is now not known. The original plan was for the plant to be equipped with two 50 MW vertical Kaplan turbines and a 3 MW eco-flow unit.

Andritz Hydro has also been contracted by Limak Enerji to supply the electromechanical equipment for the 58 MW Gürsögüt two-plant hydro­power scheme on the river Sakarya, the country’s third largest river, on the border of the northwestern provinces of Eskisehir and Ankara. The contract involves the supply of two 18 MW generating units and a 4 MW eco-flow unit for Gürsögüt 1 and two 9 MW units for Gürsögüt 2. Commissioning is ex­pected from 2021 to 2022.

Andritz is also supplying six 204 MW Francis turbines and a single 5 MW eco-flow unit for the Ilisu hydro plant on the river Tigris, as part of a contract that also includes hydro­mechanical equipment, as well as three 186 MVA generators for the Lower Kaleköy project on the river Murat, which is being built by a joint venture led by Cengiz Enerji as part of the Beyhan-Kaleköy complex.

The company is also supplying the complete electro-mechanical equipment for the 558 MW Yusufeli hydro plant being built by DSI on the river Çoruh, including three 186 MW turbines, all auxiliary equipment and automation systems, as well as hydromechanical equipment. The commissioning of the Ilisu and Lower Kaleköy projects is currently scheduled to take place in stages between May and December of this year, and the commissioning of the Yusufeli plant is expected to be between December 2020 and March 2021, according to Andritz Hydro, although the beginning of the plants’ commercial operation will depend on the COVID-19 pandemic.