The project had been shut down following an incident on 17 August 2009, when, as a result of damage to hydro power unit No. 2, water ejected from the turbine’s crater. The water flooded the machinery hall; power and auxiliary equipment were damaged and the frameworks of the machinery hall building collapsed. All the ten hydro power units were damaged and the accident killed 75 people.

The official launch ceremony at the project was attended by the Prime Minister, together with Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko, JSC RusHydro Management Board Chairman Yevgeny Dod, as well as representatives of regional authorities, some federal ministries, design and construction companies, R&D institutes and equipment manufacturers.

During the visit, officials were updated on the restoration work at the project. With the industrial operation of unit No. 6, and the planned launch of unit No. 5 in March, the project will have a base capacity of 1280MW enabling it to minimize the risks of handling seasonal floods and ensure guaranteed water supplies to households, industrial and social facilities located in the hydropower plant’s tail bay.

As part of the restoration, work was carried out in full at hydro power units Nos. 5 and 6 to repair the generator equipment, and also the turbines’ basic and auxiliary equipment. Generator circuit-breaker equipment has been replaced at unit No. 6 and a stationary system of vibration control has been installed. Work is continuing on unit No. 5 for equipment assembly.

In addition, the testing of penstock tunnels at hydropower units Nos. 5 and 6 has been carried out. Specialists from the Vedeneyev All-Russian Institute of Hydraulic Engineering inspected the condition of the spiral chamber, the suction tube and other structural elements. The condition of the penstocks’ internal metal cladding at Nos. 5 and 6 was inspected. Following the results of this work, a scientific and technical report entitled ‘Inspection of the Penstocks at Hydropower Units Nos. 5 and 6’ was prepared with a conclusion on the penstock condition. The inspection results confirm the working capacity of all the reinforced concrete frames of units Nos. 5 and 6. All the penstocks of the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP will be inspected under a special program in 2010-2014.

Foundation slabs, building and metalwork structures, the flow passage of unit No. 6, auxiliary and general-purpose plant’s equipment and the power output circuit have been restored for the start-up operations. In addition, completely reconditioned systems of guidance, control, protection and automation have been installed and adjusted. Equipment of the main outputs chamber and the zero terminals chamber has been reviewed. The switchboard for the unit’s own requirements has been commissioned and the fire-extinguishing system for the cable galleries has all been tested. Unit No. 5 is currently idle running.

Units 5 and 6 were launched into off-load operation on 30 December 2009. During the launch, the control parameters of the hydro turbine, governor mechanism and oil pressure installation were checked. In the process of technological operations, vibration parameters were controlled by specialists from the scientific and production association for research and designing of energy equipment. The measurements testified to the vibration condition of the units.

The launch of unit No. 6 for on-load operation was preceded by the start-up work that included operational testing of the unit in all running modes including switching to the grid. The program of testing has been approved by JSC Power Machines, the manufacturer of the turbine and the generator. The general designer JSC Lengidroproekt has confirmed compliance of the equipment, all the technological process systems and hardware of the unit and the transformer to the technical design specifications of the first launch complex.

The connection of unit No. 6 to the grid was carried out ahead of schedule; the launch of unit No. 5 will take place in March 2010 and units No 3 and 4 at the end of this year, bringing up plant’s installed capacity to 2560MW.

The first stage of an additional spillway capable of handling up to 2000m3/sec will be commissioned on 1 June 2010.

The plant is expected to be fully restored in 2014.

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