Russia’s longest hydroelectric construction project completed

Russia’s longest hydroelectric construction project completed
After forty years the ninth and last generator at the Boguchany hydroelectric plant is up and running. Construction of the fifth largest hydroelectric facility in Russia began in the Soviet era.

The Boguchany hydropower plant (HPP) will now be able to deliver 3,000 megawatts of cheap ‘green’ and reliable electricity to residential areas and industrial enterprises in the Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk regions.

Construction started in 1974, and the job is being finished by the children of those who started it.

A view of the Boguchany Hydroelectric Station on the Angara River. (RIA Novosti/Alexandr Kryazhev)

The opening of Boguchany will be a lifetime event for the hundreds of builders who didn’t leave the place in the 90's even when construction was mothballed and they had no work.

There has been a race to finish the hydroelectric plant, as plans had to change from the original 1970s design after the tragic accident at Sayano-Shushenskaya.

READ MORE: Giant Russian hydroelectric plant relaunched at full capacity after 2009 catastrophe

A view of the Boguchany Hydroelectric Station on the Angara River. (RIA Novosti/Alexandr Kryazhev)

More than half of the electricity generated by the plant is intended to be used at the nearby Boguchansky aluminum smelter which produces 600,000 tons per year.

The power station was built jointly by RusHydro and Rusal under the state program for the integrated development of the Lower Angara region. Commissioning of the first generators took place on October 15, 2012.

The project has been criticized by a number of organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace for the flooding caused by the dam.

A view of the Boguchany Hydroelectric Station on the Angara River. (RIA Novosti/Alexandr Kryazhev)