Energo-Pro launch of Turkish plants caps biggest Czech investment in hydropower since 1989

Alpaslan 2, photo: archive of Energo-Pro

The energy group Energo-Pro has begun operating two new hydropower plants in Turkey, capping the largest Czech investment in the industry since November 1989, at more than $800 million (about CZK 19 billion).

Energo-Pro’s 99.5 MW Karakurt hydropower plant is located in the Aras river basin and will cover a water area of 14 square kilometres and the earth fill dam with asphalt core will reach a height of 137 metres. By comparison, the Czech Republic now has the highest functional earth fill dam in Europe, at the Dalešice water reservoir, which is 100 metres high.

The company’s largest capacity 280 MW Alpaslan 2 hydropower plant is located on the Murat River and will cover a water area of 55 square kilometres. It took Energo-Pro two years to build with construction work running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with up to 1,900 workers on site.

Alpaslan 2, photo: archive of Energo-Pro

For both dams, the Czech company built an earth fill dam with an asphalt core. “It proved to be the most suitable for the local seismological conditions, and it was also the fastest variant to execute”, Energo-Pro executive director Pavel Váňa said in a press release.

Energo-Pro is the largest Czech company investing in hydropower. After connecting the two new power plants, the company will be operating a total of 38 hydropower plants in four countries – the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Georgia and Turkey.

In Turkey, the warranty consists of two parts; in the first 10 years of the power plant’s operation it will be $73 per megawatt-hour. In addition, this tariff will be increased in the first five years. As a result, Energo-Pro will sell electricity at $86 per megawatt-hour at Alpaslan 2 and $96 per megawatt-hour at Karakurt.

“If we take into account the estimated electricity production, in this case we could earn about $520 million in the first five years.  Alpaslan 2 should produce 850 GWh and Karakurt 340 GWh per year,” Váňa said.

“Of course, the advantage is also that we will have a fixed dollar tariff for 10 years; this provides investors in renewable sources with greater security and coverage of currency risk, and it also allows them to finance these long-term infrastructure green energy projects.”

Hydropower plants are currently the world's most important low-emission and renewable source. They supply almost 17 percent of the world's electricity and about 70 percent of renewable electricity.