#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Nornickel put into operation the seventh renewed hydroelectric unit of the Ust-Hantayskaya HPP. The modernization of all seven machines went in stages, over seven years, and the cost of the work amounted to 7.5 billion rubles.
According to Evgeny Fedorov, vice president, head of the Nornickel Energy Division, this is an important day for the Norilsk energy system. Ust-Hantayskaya HPP is the northernmost large hydroelectric power plant in Russia and one of the northernmost hydroelectric power plants in the world.
“During the reconstruction of the hydroelectric power station, the builders and operating personnel faced a unique challenge, including the logistics one. Delivery of goods to the hydroelectric power station is possible only a few months a year by summer river navigation. The modernization was carried out at the existing facility working mode, which imposed a special responsibility on the builders and operating personnel”, he explained.
The company representative also explained that Nornickel continues to invest in energy facilities. Turbine unit No. 1 at CHPP-2 is already in the commissioning mode. Turbine unit No. 2 at the same power plant is in the installation process.
In addition, over the next five years, the company plans to commission two new gas-powered units at CHPP-3, and continue the modernization of turbine units at CHPP-2. Nornickel also invests in power grid facilities, heat and water supply facilities.
Also, in the near future, the reconstruction of another hydroelectric power plant – the largest in the Taimyr energy system of the Kureyskaya HPP – will begin, which will last until 2030.
Speaking about the environmental aspects, he assured that the hydraulic units that were installed at the Ust-Hantayskaya HPP (the same ones will appear at the Kureiskaya one), will give an additional, higher efficiency:
“Higher efficiency for hydropower is when we get a larger volume of electrical energy from the same volume of water that passes through the turbines, which reduces the need for burning natural gas in thermal power plants, which means it has an environmental effect”.
The service life of new machines is 50 years. At the same time, the first of them has already been exploited by seven, and it has shown its reliability. The station produces about 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours a year, which is almost a quarter of the volume consumed in the Norilsk industrial region.
Also, an increase in the power of a hydroelectric power station is an increase in the production of so-called green energy: engineers were able to find such a solution when, without changing the design of the machines, they put the impeller of a new design there. This is an unprecedented decision for our country.
The reconstruction was carried out under the conditions of an operating station. In this case, absolutely everything was subject to replacement – up to all the switch and cables.
Electricity generation at each unit increased by ten megawatts, and overall efficiency for the station increased by ten percent, which is a good indicator for a power plant.
It should be noted that the Ust-Hantayskaya HPP is the firstborn of the hydropower industry in the Arctic. It was built from 1963 to 1975, 63 kilometers from the mouth of the Hantayka river, the first tributary of the Yenisey. In the same place, over time, the village of Snezhnogorsk grew, in which the employees of the hydroelectric power station and their families still live.
Text: Mikhail Tuaev, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division press service