JSC RusHydro has announced that a new hydropower unit was commissioned and put into commercial operation at the Company’s Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant, adding 640MW to the plant’s capacity.

The rehabilitation and comprehensive modernization of the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP consists of three stages and will be completed in 2014.

The new hydropower unit was put into commercial operation on 4 March 2013. Currently, the working capacity of the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP is 3200MW with five 640MW units in operation. The restoration of four units of the plant continues.

The Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower plant will be fully equipped with new up-to-date equipment with enhanced performance characteristics that meet all safety and reliability requirements. The useful life of the new units has been extended to 40 years and maximum efficiency now reaches 96.6%. They also have improved energy and cavitation features. The turbines will be fitted with a more efficient process protection system, which will automatically shut down the unit in case of any inadmissible deviations from controlled parameters.

Power Machines and RusHydro entered into a contract to produce basic power equipment to restore the plant in November 2009. Under terms of the contract, Power Machines will produce 10 hydropower turbines, nine 640MW hydropower generators and six excitation systems (one new generator and four excitation systems have been produced and installed at hydropower units launched after the completion of renovation repair work in 2010).

The reconstruction work is needed following an incident on 17 August 2009, when water flooded the machinery hall; the project’s power and auxiliary equipment were damaged and the frameworks of the machinery hall building collapsed. Seventy-five people were killed in the accident.