One of the largest facilities of the State Programme of Accelerated Industrial and Innovative Development, the Moinak Hydropower Plant (HPP), has reached full capacity and is making a significant contribution to the energy supply of the southern regions of the country.
The Moinak plant was built in late 2011 in the remote Raiymbek district in Zhetisu, Almaty oblast, and is using the principle of height difference to generate the rotating movement of rotors churning out electricity. It has two hydraulic units, each with a capacity of 150 megawatts. The second unit was put into operation in May of last year by President Nursultan Nazarbayev. According to General Director of Moinak HPP Bakytbek Zhanabayev, the power plant has generated 1.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity since its launch. The plant fully covers daily peaks in the energy system of Kazakhstan’s southern regions.
The project, part of the country’s Industrialisation Map, was implemented under the management of Samruk Energo and involved the work of local companies in building power and communication lines, access roads and other supporting infrastructure. China International Water and Power Corporation laid the diversion tunnels, erected the plant’s main building and installed basic equipment.
Chairman of the Board of Moinak HPP Stakhan Belgozhayev said the Chinese company was chosen to build the main plant because of that country’s experience in building hydropower facilities: 80 percent of all hydroelectric plants built in recent years have been built in China. The Chinese experts took into account all technical and seismic safety parameters and worked with the Kazakhstan Ministry of Environmental Protection and Water Resources regarding the preservation of the Charyn River and the ash grove near the plant, he said.
The plant has had a positive impact on the economy of the region: 800 local residents were involved in its construction and 114 people are now employed there. A new village with a kindergarten and communications connections was built in the district that houses the plant.
Belgozhayev also said that a new project, Four Cascades, was recently developed to use more of the Charyn River’s hydropower potential. The planned capacity of the future green facility, which will be built next to the Moinak plant, is 220 MW.