Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Ermenek Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant

Dear Energy Professional, Dear Colleagues,

On Saturday, 12 December 2009, we had the opportunity to participate in the Panel on "Ermenek Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant" at the Middle East Technical University Alumni Association in Visnelik Premises in Ankara, Turkey.

The 309 megawatt Ermenek hydropower project is currently under construction, and located on the Ermenek River, a tributary of the Göksu River in the province of Karaman. The Göksu River is one of the last free-flowing rivers in Turkey.

Its delta has been recognized as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. Though there are plans for five further hydropower plants, there has been no basin-wide assessment of the cumulative impacts of Ermenek and the other projects.

The investment financing has been organized between the governments of Turkey and Austria in the framework of bilateral cooperation. The Turkish Water Works Public Institution DSI (Client) signed the contract in 2002, with the international consortium lead by local BM Holding, which acted as a leader within the consortium.

BM Holding Vice Chairman Özgür Çaglayan Kuyumcu (CE’1998), and Project Coordinator Hakan Kazanc (CE’1995), were the panel speakers. The Panel Moderator was Ms. Ozlem Izlem AYDIN (EnvE’2004).

The Panel speakers explained all phases of the hydroelectric dam construction. The project is the first of its kind where a Turkish contractor (BM Holding) is the Pilot Company in a large multi-national consortium.

The double curvature, asymmetrical, thin concrete arch dam body, which will have a height of 210 meters from the thalveg, is among the two highest dams in Turkey and the 6th highest in Europe. The dam is being constructed in an extremely deep and narrow gorge, having a width of less than 150 meters at its top, and as little as 5 meters at its bottom.

Owing further to the highly carstified geological structure of the project area, as well as to the obstructed access, limited only to the use of a Cable Crane across and into the valley, the project is easily rated as among the most demanding and technically complex construction undertakings in Turkey.

Upon completion, the project will hold an important place in the national energy generation, with a planned installed power of 309 MW.

The Project shall be completed in 5 years, where repayment shall commence at the end of 2.5 years. The Project will be built with 100% foreign project financing by Ermenek Consortium. The contract upfront value is EUR 539,635,747, and the total project cost to completion is currently estimated at approximately 700 million Euros.

The financing group includes ABN AMRO Bank, Bayerische Landesbank, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau and Société Générale as joint lead arrangers, Bayerische Landesbank as agent of the banks, Bank Austria Creditanstalt Group as Co-Arranger and OeKB as facility agent. Hermes also provided reinsurance for the OeKB export credit.

Also included in BM’s scope of works is close to 1,000,000 LM of drilling and grouting works in addition to 68,140 meters of roads and 18,729 meters of tunnels.

Since the dam has a great reservoir at the back, hydro turbines will have greater availability in a year to generate power. We are happy to learn that there is also a great opportunity for flood protection of the nearby environment.

To meet our country's increasing energy demands, we need to have similar investments, and local contractors who can put their efforts towards finalizing the projects. In the end, we can say that, all we need is self-confidence, and the confidence of investors who will put money into other similar new projects, which will utilize the local hydro capacity.

Once again, we would like to congratulate the Construction Management and the Creditors who give money to make the project realized, and to the engineers/ employees who make the dam construction finalized.

Panel Presentation link is given on the title block of this blog.
Your comments are always welcome.
Haluk Direskeneli, Ankara based Energy Analyst


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