The Ust-Ilimskaya HPP celebrates the 40th anniversary of the launch of the first hydroelectric unit


Historically, December is a month of anniversary celebrations in the power industry. Thus, in addition to the 60th anniversary of the establishment of OJSC Irkutskenergo, the team of the Ust-Ilimskaya HPP, the newest active HPP forming part of the Angara-Yenisei cascade, celebrates the 40th anniversary of the launch of the first hydroelectric unit (st. no. 1). Today, the Ust-Ilimskaya HPP has a capacity of 3,840 MW, while its average annual output totals 21.7 TWh. Since the launch of the first hydroelectric unit, the Ust-Ilimskaya HPP has generated 790 TWh of electricity, which is comparable to the amount that Ust-Ilimsk would have consumed over 500 years of continuous power consumption. We would like to remind that work on the main facilities and construction of cofferdams around the site where the construction pit for the hydroelectric complex was to be excavated started in March 1966; in February 1967, the Angara River was dammed for the first time; the first layer of concrete forming part of the dam body was laid in April 1968, and in August 1969, the river was dammed for the second time. Hydroelectric unit no. 1 was put into operation in 1974, and hydroelectric unit no. 16 was put into operation in 1979.

The Ust-Ilimskaya HPP is a complex of unique facilities. Its construction drew on extensive expertise in construction of large HPPs in Siberia. It is not an overstatement to say that this power plant built in harsh climatic conditions within a very short time frame is an example of a high professional level, courage and team spirit of its builders and operating personnel. In terms of power generation, the Ust-Ilimskaya HPP is comparable to major HPPs such as the Bratskaya and Krasnoyarskaya HPPs and even outperforms them in some respects. The engineering design of the hydroelectric facilities was prepared by the team of the Moscow branch of the Gidroenergoproekt National Institute under the supervision of German Sukhanov, who is often described as the “soul” of the projects forming part of the Angara-Yenisei cascade: the Irkutskaya, Bratskaya, Ust-Ilimskaya, Boguchanskaya and Sredne-Yeniseiskaya HPPs. A prominent role in construction of the Ust-Ilimskaya HPP was played by Ivan Naymushin, head of a special department, Bratskgessstroy, who applied considerable organizational skills and a genuinely creative approach to construction of the Bratskaya HPP, the Bratsk Aluminum Smelter, the Bratsk Timber Processing Complex, the Ust-Ilimskaya HPP, Korshunov Mining Plant, the cities of Bratsk, Zheleznogorsk-Ilimsky and Ust-Ilimsk.

Any hydropower plant is a unique facility whose smooth and reliable operation is of crucial importance for the life of a large region. In Ust-Ilimsk, where conditions are comparable to those in the Far North, the sustainable operation of an HPP is literally vital for tens of thousands of people. Employees of the power plant are fully aware of this and make every effort to ensure safe and reliable operation of the HPP. Upgrades and timely and thorough repairs of major equipment help to extend its useful life and ensure its efficiency and reliability. In recent years, a system for monitoring the technical condition of hydroelectric units has been implemented at the Ust-Ilimskaya HPP; various systems and equipment have been upgraded or refitted, including an automated system for gathering data from control and measuring devices monitoring the condition of hydraulic structures forming part of the concrete dam; thyristor excitation systems; power system protection equipment; automated control systems of all hydroelectric units; operating DC voltage systems; a balance-of-plant auxiliary system, which has been fitted with standalone power supply units; a joint active and reactive power control system. In 2014 OJSC Irkutskenergo signed a contract with OJSC Power Machines for the delivery of four rotor wheels for water turbines at the Ust-Ilimskaya HPP; the first rotor wheel is expected to be installed at the power plant in 2016. Thus, following a large-scale upgrade of the Bratskaya HPP, the Ust-Ilimskaya HPP will also launch a program to replace rotor wheels.

Press service of OJSC Irkutskenergo

December 10, 2014
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