Auma-Solutions for a world in motion
Auma-Solutions for a world in motion

Turkey inaugurates world’s third highest double curved concrete arch dam

Turkey’s largest dam, and the world’s third highest double curved concrete arch dam, was inaugurated at a ceremony held on 6 June.

The Yusufeli dam, on the Çoruh river in Artvin province, is 275 m high, and will impound a reservoir with a total storage capacity of 2.13 x 109 m³, the state owner-operator Turkey’s General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works, Devlet Su İsleri Genel Mudurlugu (DSİ), said in a statement.

Civil works were carried out over seven years by a local consortium of Limak Holding, Cengiz Holding and Kolin.

An associated 540 MW hydropower plant, equipped with three 180 MW vertical shaft Francis turbines, is expected to be fully commissioned in April 2021. The three generating units, each with a rated output of 186 MW, are being supplied by Andritz Hydro. The plant is designed to generate 1.89 TWh/year, increasing the country’s hydropower production by 2 per cent.

The dam, which is being built as part of the Çoruh River Basin project, will also increase production at three of four existing downstream hydropower plants, as well as prolong their operational lifetimes and reduce the risk of flooding within the basin. According to the DSI, the commissioning of Yusufeli will increase downstream production by 160 MW, including 100 MW at the Deriner dam, 43 MW at the Borcka dam and 17 MW at the Muratli dam.

The country’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who inaugurated the dam via video link, said that the electricity generated by the hydropower dam would add more than Turkish Lira 1.5 billion (US$ 221 million) to Turkey’s economy every year. The Çoruh River Basin project is designed to comprise a total of 13 storage hydropower facilities. To date Muratlı, Borcka, Deriner and Artvin have been completed, and have produced 30.9 TWh and contributed around TL 7 billion annually to the national economy since commissioning.

In his speech, President Erdogan said that the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party had doubled the number of irrigation and flood protection facilities during its 18 years in power. “Despite all the efforts of previous governments, Turkey only managed to build 276 dams until 2003. But in the last 18 years, we have put 585 new dams into service,” said Erdogan. “Similarly, before 2003, Turkey had just 105 hydropower plants. We have added 576 more plants in just 18 years.”