Normal hydrological regime has been restored at the Bureyskaya hydropower plant following a landslide that occurred in the project area in December, RusHydro has confirmed.
As of February 12, 2019, the water level at the Bureyskoye reservoir increased by 80cm as the inflow increased to 1300m3/sec. Consequently, the water flow through hydropower turbines increased to 750m3/sec enabling the hydropower plant to increase daily electricity production by 5GWh to the average daily production of 17GWh.
On December 11, 2018, a landslide occurred separating Bureyskoye reservoir into two parts. The total volume of soil was estimated at 34 million m3, making the landslide one of the biggest in Russia’s history. Its height ranges from 7.5 to 46m above ground with length of 800m. The collapse deprived Buresykoye reservoir of 28% of its useful volume (2.1km3 of water). Water flow to the reservoir was completely blocked increasing flood risk to Baikal-Amur Mainline railroad and residential areas situated above the collapse, causing potential navigation risks on the Bureya River and eventually leading to an uncontrolled spring flooding.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin authorized the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation to blast layers of rock on the landslide to clear the riverbed and restore the hydrological regime.
The entire operation took place under severe weather conditions with lack of roads. Despite that, tons of explosives and drilling equipment arrived at the site. RusHydro supplied material and technical resources such as bulldozers, drilling units and air heaters and conducted hydrological study to determine the outlet’s parameters.