Modernisation Brings Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydroelectric Plant to Int’l Standards

UST-KAMENOGORSK – The staff of the Ust-Kamenogorsk hydroelectric plant is conducting a large-scale modernisation of the plant’s main equipment and auxiliary systems, enabling it to significantly increase its annual production of electricity.

Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydroelectric plant

Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydroelectric plant

Two major innovative projects have been launched through government industrialisation plans and one of the new hydraulic units will have water flowing through it in the coming spring.

“In the period from 2015-2017, we plan to complete replacement of two old units to modern ones and thereby increase the power of each of them from 82 megawatts to 91 megawatts,” said Director of AES Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydroelectric plant Yulia Kurii. “As a result, the annual electricity output at a hydraulic unit will increase by 63 million kilowatts per hour.”

New impellers have improved performance, and they and other improvements will raise the efficiency of the plant’s equipment from 92 to 96.5 percent; that is, helping it to reach the level of the best world standards. Modernisation is carried out at auxiliary systems such as automated control, vibration control, and others.

Station Duty Engineer Roman Nepomnyasсhii says that the hydroelectric power plant is “a giant organism” in which everything is interconnected and thought-through.

“For example, at the moment, the first, second and fourth machine are in operation and the third is undergoing reconstruction. The current load on existing mechanisms is 220 megawatts, while the water flow is 660 cubic metres per second,” he said.

The station today employs more than 120 people, and a third of the staff are young people. They are not afraid to involve young people here, even university students. Young professionals, having interned at the Ust-Kamenogorsk plant, often then try to be hired by the state enterprise.

“This is because young people are attracted primarily to excellent growth prospects,” says Yulia Kurii. As evidence, she introduced Maxim Radchenko, who operates the control panel. Radchenko started as an ordinary hydroelectric engineer, but had high aspirations even then.

Over more than 60 years, the Ust-Kamenogorsk hydroelectric plant has generated about 90 billion KW/h of electricity. Recent years have seen a number of active updates to its production facilities. From 2011-2013, the plant modernised the first and fourth generators. The development of new electricity volumes is directly proportional to the growth of gross domestic product in the region.