Bratsk hydroelectric plant

Bratsk hydroelectric plant

Bratsk hydroelectric plant (named "50 years of Great October") is the second level of the Angara River hydroelectric stations cascade in Irkutsk Oblast, Russia. Located near Bratsk. Since its full commissioning in 1967, the station was the world’s single biggest power producer until Canada's Churchill Falls in 1971. Annually the station produces 22,6 TWh. Currently, the Bratsk Power Station operates 18 hydro-turbines, each with capacity of 250 MW, produced by the Leningrad Metal Works ("LMZ", _ru. ЛМЗ, _ru. Ленинградский Металлический завод) in the 1960's.


Construction started 1954, ended 1967.

Building consists of:
* concrete wall of 924 m long and 124.5 m maximum height (stationary part 515 m long, waterdrop part 242 m long, dumb part 167 m).
* by-wall house 516 m long
* coastal concrete walls all 506 m long
* right coast ground wall 2987 m long, left - 723 m long.

On the upper part of the wall there is the railway track of the Taishet-Lena line and an automobile road.

There are no navigation passes, because Angara River has no through ship routes. Nevertheless, construction project includes the possibility to build a ship elevator.

With the 4500 MW of output and 22,6 TWh of annual output, it is Russia's second single producer of hydroelectricity.

The Turbine Hall contains 18 Francis hydroturbine units, 250 MW each, with a 106 m of operating head. 5140 m long penstock forms the Bratsk Reservoir.

Output is distributed into five 500 kV power lines and twenty 220 kV lines.

Plant was designed by the Moscow-based "Hydroproject" ( _ru. «Гидропроект») institute, and is operated by the joint-stock company "Irkutskenergo" ( _ru. «Иркутскэнерго»), although all the buildings themselves belong to the Russia's federal government.

Reconstruction project includes increasing the output up to 5000 MW. At present, Irkutskenergo together with JSC "Silovii Mashini" ( _ru. «Силовые машины») is modernizing the old turbines.

Economical aspect

* Plant is powering hundreds of industrial factories
* It became a part of "Bratsk territorial-production complex" ( _ru. Братский территориально-производственный комплекс)
* About 75% of the output is consumed by the Bratsk Aluminium Plant.


The decision to build the hydroelectric plant was passed in September 1954 so that during the autumn of the same year the first workers and machines arrived at Bratsk. On December 21, 1954 preparation works started by Nizhneangargasstroy departament ( _ru. Нижнеангаргэсстрой), later renamed to Bratskgasstroy ( _ru. Братскгэсстрой). Concurrently, the city of Bratsk was founded. On December 12, 1955 the Bratsk was officially converted from workers settlement into the city by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of RSFSR.

Construction works of the Bratsk Plant was declared as the Komsomol's high tempo priority goal. It was in the center of public attention. Lot of the workers were awarded by the state prizes. The plant became a symbol of industrial development of Siberia.

From July 1955 to October 1957 the 220kV power line to Irkutsk was constructed. On November 6, 1957 Bratsk substation received the first current from the newly constructed plant and later that year this current was transmitted it to Irkutsk for the first time via the newly created power line. In 1961 the second 500kV power line was added.

On March 30, 1957 for the first time in history of the world hydroelectricity the right coast of Angara river was dammed right before the icebreaking. This operation held for 9.5 hours by 8 excavators and 220 dump trucks.

On July 18, 1961 the filling of Bratsk Reservoir started (level raised up to 100 m so it became the largest artificial tank of that time). First stationary 225MWt generator (no. 18) gave industrial current on November 28, 1961 at 10:15 local time. After 7 days on December 5 the second unit no. 17 started to operate. On December 12, 1963 units no. 16 and no. 15 were included into the Unified Energy System of Siberia. On May 9, 1964 the central control post of Bratsk Plant added into service for as much as to operators were currently controlling the plant. On September 30, 1964 the Dam wall received the last cubic meter of concrete.

Since March 3, 1965 the railway track constructed over the crest of the dam, it started to operate on June 16. Automobile road opened on July 28.

On December 14, 1966 the last unit no. 1 was put on load. On September 8, 1967 the State Commission accepted the inclusion of Bratsk hydronode into constant use.

See also

* Bratsk Reservoir
* Irkutsk Energy, an operator of Bratsk plant
* Hydroelectricity, A list of the world's largest hydro-electric power stations

External links

* [ Irkutskenergo company profile]
* [ Bratsk plant photo archive]

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