GE Vernova completes first of six upgrades at Qairokkum hydropower plant, Tajikistan

20 September 2023

GE Vernova's hydropower business has successfully completed the upgrade of the first of six Kaplan turbine and generator units at the Qairokkum hydropower plant in the northwestern province of Sughd. The refurbishment project, undertaken in collaboration with Barki Tojik, marks a critical step towards enhancing the plant's capacity and extending its operational life.

Built over 60 years ago, the Qairokkum hydropower plant has been the sole source of electricity for approximately 500,000 residents in the region, underscoring its vital role in the province's power supply. The completion of the upgrade on the first unit, initially rated at 21MW, has now boosted its capacity to 29MW. Importantly, this enhancement sets the stage for all six units to undergo similar transformations, ultimately elevating the plant's total capacity to a formidable 174MW.

GE Vernova leads the consortium responsible for this project, collaborating with Cobra, a division of Spain’s ACS Group. The scope of work encompasses the overhaul of the six turbines and generators, along with the necessary balance of plant upgrades and on-site supervision for the equipment supplied. It is anticipated that the comprehensive modernization of the Qairokkum hydropower plant will conclude by mid-2025.

"The work done in Tajikistan on making hydropower plants climate resilient is essential for our industry's future and the global energy transition that we all support,” commented Bodo Mayer, Hydro Power EMEA Leader, GE Vernova. “We are extremely honored to contribute to this project and for the completion of the first unit’s rehabilitation. This remarkable boost in capacity sets the stage for even greater clean energy production as we prepare to bring five more units online."

Tajikistan relies heavily on hydropower, with approximately 90% of its electricity generated from this renewable source. Given the nation's dependence on hydropower, it becomes increasingly crucial to adapt existing infrastructure and develop new assets to meet future operational demands. The Qairokkum hydropower plant was strategically chosen to pilot this concept, serving as a testament to the ability of modernized facilities to not only generate more energy but also to address variations in water flow patterns within the region.

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