En+ Group has begun installing a new impeller at one of its hydraulic units at the Bratsk Hydropower Station as part of its New Energy programme.

Bratsk has 18 hydro-turbine impellers which have been undergoing a three-stage modernisation programme. In the first stage, which run from 2004 to 2010, hydraulic units 13 – 18 were rebuilt. Replacing the impellers at these turbines has improved the turbines’ energy conversion efficiency to 95.3%. The project boosted the hydropower station’s electric output, consequently reducing coal plant output and therefore reducing CO2 emissions. This project’s success resulted in En+ Group being commended for its work at the first Kyoto Protocol project competition in 2010.

From 2014 to 2017, six further impellers were replaced on hydraulic units 6-10 and 12. All twelve impellers installed during the first two phases of the modernisation programme have already demonstrated their capacity for boosting efficiency and their modernisation has led to increased electric power production without an increase in water consumption.

The remaining six impellers will be replaced during the final third stage of modernisation, which began in 2021.

Russian machinery suppliers were given priority in the procurement process, and Tyazhmash JSC was selected to supply the impellers as well as additional equipment. All necessary equipment has already arrived at the plant and is ready for installation. Works on the impellers are expected to continue till the end of the year, and the hydro-turbine is planned for launch in late December 2021.

"Modernising hydroelectric stations is important not only for a secure and uninterrupted energy supply, but all also to boost the station’s efficiency,” commented Mikhail Khardikov, Head of En+ Group’s energy business. “As we continue with the implementation of the New Energy programme, we will achieve the best long-term efficiency metrics in the industry. The New Energy Programme also has a positive ecological impact: as of 2022, the hydropower station will be generating an additional 2 billion kWh of energy from the same volume of water".

The New Energy programme is being implemented at En+ Group’s Angara-Yenisei cascade hydropower plants (Ust-Ilimsk, Bratsk, Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk). Upgraded equipment at the stations increased capacity by 1,712.1kWh in 2020 year-on-year, reducing emissions by 1.984 million tonnes in CO2 equivalent as hydroelectric power replaced the capacity previously generated by coal-fired power plants. 

Investment in the New Energy programme will amount to 21 bln rubles by 2026. In present-day prices, additional investment in the programme amounts to around 34 bln rubles by 2046.