In Case of Reconstructing 'Vorotan -7' SHPP - More Water Intake, More Environmental Flow and More Electricity Production

In Case of Reconstructing 'Vorotan -7' SHPP - More Water Intake, More Environmental Flow and More Electricity Production

EcoLur

'HGNQ GROUP' LLC intends to reconstruct 'Vorotan -7' SHPP it currently operates. The public hearings on the SHPP reconstruction project having been submitted for environmental expertise have been appointed at 12:30 on 26 May at Gorayq Regional Municipality, Syunik Region. The project says a decision has been reached to reconstruct and re-equip 'Vorotan -7' SHPP to ensure high economic profitability and energy production of the HPP, as well as to use water resource more efficiently.

'Vorotan -7' SHPP is construction on the Vorotan River (length – 178 km), Syunik Region, Armenia. The company started developing the SHPP in 2012, while in 2016 EcoLur's Expert Group conducted the monitoring of this SHPP and detected violations, particularly in regard to environmental flow, fish-protecting nets and landscape.

The environmental flow of 0.58 m3/s has been set in the water usage permit. The experts have proposed the company to examine whether the environmental flow of 0.58 m3/s laid down in the water usage permit is sufficient for the Vorotan River and surrounding natural ecosystems. The new project sets an environmental flow of 1.25 m3/s.

Certain hydroenergetic indicators have been also changed, thus, according to the new project, the static pressure of the SHPP is 23.8 m, while it’s 26 m, the estimated pressure is 24.9 instead of previous 23.8 m, the estimated yield to be used by the SHPP is 7.0 m3/s instead of previous 5.0 m3/s, the projected capacity has been set 1.35 MW, while according to the certificate issued by the Public Services Regulatory Committee (PSRC) on 1 January 2015 the projected capacity was 730 kW.

Under the new project, the SHPP shall annually produce 3.52 million kW/h electricity, while the previous indicator was 3.26 million kW/h. Under the new project, the estimated capacity of the SHPP will make up 1.32 MW, estimated pressure – 24 m, the flow going through the SHPP - 67.45 million cum.

After the reconstruction the SHPP will have a dam of 7.2 m height and 27 m length. The current length of the SHPP dam is 18 m, its height is 5.5 m. The structure of the fish passway built in the left part of the dam will also be changed, which ensures the passage of the environmental flow.

The Vorotan River fish species presented in the project are Kura barbell, South Caucasus Sprilin and Prussian Carp, but according to Ichthyologist Samvel Pipoyan, you can meet more fish species in this part of Vorotan.

The SHPP building is located on the right bank of the Vorotan River. Currently, there are 3 hydroaggregates operating in the SHPP building, which ensure a projected capacity of 748 kW. It's planned to install 3 more to ensure capacity of 1320 kW. According to the project, hydroaggregates will have automated regulating system. It's planned to install an oil-collector in the substation and to fence the area, which are currently missing.

Currently, the water is transferred to the SHPP building with a pipeline of 162 meters long and with a diameter of 1420 mm. Under the amended project, it's planned to construct another pipeline originating from the pressure basin, again of 162 meters long and with a diameter of 1420 mm to transfer an estimated yield of 7.0 m3/s.

According to the project, there are no red-listed flora and fauna species in the SHPP area. Probable negative impacts of SHPP reconstruction works will be expressed with the following factors:

• Pipeline construction works may endanger nesting and spawning sites of land animals,
• They may disturb animal migratory and water drinking opportunities,
• Noise generated with the operation of heavy machinery will make the animals afraid and lead to changing their habitats.

The construction term of 'Vorotan-7' SHPP is 7 months, while operation term is 15 years.

The material was developed in the frames of “Supporting new reforms in SHPP sector through CSO-government dialogue” supported by UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme".

17:42 May 23, 2017


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