The Nizhne-Bureyskaya hydroelectric power plant, the largest Russian HPP built in the post-Soviet period, has gone on stream in the Far Eastern Amur Region.
With the launch of its fourth hydroelectric unit, the power plant reached its design capacity of 320 MW. Meanwhile, the capacity of the largest Soviet HPP is 6400 MW – the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP in Khakassia, which is still running. In 2014, a new hydro unit was added. The world’s largest hydropower plant is China’s Three Gorges: its capacity exceeds 22,000 MW. It is also the world’s largest building (the dam weighs 65.5 mio tons).
Governor of the Amur Region Vasily Orlov and Nikolai Shulginov, General Director of RusHydro (Russia’s hydroelectricity giant), attended the inauguration ceremony for the Nizhne-Bureyskaya HPP. Most of its new equipment has been supplied by domestic manufacturers, including four hydroelectric units, together generating 320 MW, built by Russia’s Power Machines concern.
“New power plants are built in Russia for the needs of specific industrial facilities or small areas, which sometimes can be powered by alternative energy,” economist Dmitry Afanasyev said. “Large Soviet hydropower plants took about 15-20 years to build; it is risky to embark on such longterm projects with the economy so unstable.”