Turkey commissions first turbine at Ilisu dam

The first of six Francis turbines to be commissioned at the scheme began operating on 19 May.

On Tuesday 19 May, the first turbine began operating at the 135 m-high Ilisu concrete faced rockfill dam. The dam and associated hydropower plant are on the Tigris river in the southeastern province of Mardin.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended the commissioning ceremony via videoconference, along with Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez, and Agriculture and Forestry Minister, Bekir Pakdemirli.

“Turkey’s fourth-largest dam, Ilısu dam, will contribute TL 2.8 billion (US$ 412 million) to the Turkish economy annually, contribute to the development of the southeast, and it is expected to generate 4.1 billion kWh of electricity per year,” Erdoğan said during the ceremony.

Six 204 MW Francis turbines have been supplied by Andritz Hydro for the project, along with a single 5 MW eco-flow unit, as part of a contract for hydro-mechanical equipment. Following commissioning of the first unit, the remaining five units are planned to be commissioned at two-month intervals.