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GE Vernova’s Hydro Power business completes first unit upgrade at Qairokkum, Tajikistan

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Energy Global,

GE Vernova’s Hydro Power business has completed the upgrade of the first of six Kaplan turbine and generator units at the Qairokkum hydropower plant in Tajikistan.

Following the refurbishment process, the 21 MW unit has been upgraded to a capacity of 29 MW and is now connected to the grid. The output of each of the six refurbished units will increase from 21 MW to 29 MW, bringing the total capacity of the plant to 174 MW.

This over 60-year old hydropower plant located on the river Syr Darya is the only power plant located in the northwestern province of Sughd and the sole source of electricity for about 500,000 people in the province. The refurbishment activities will help extend the lifetime of the plant and its capacity to deliver even more clean and sustainable energy to Tajikistan.

GE was selected with Barki Tojik to refurbish the six Kaplan units at the state-owned Qairokkum hydropower plant. The scope of work includes the upgrade of the six turbines and generators, as well as part of the balance of plant and site supervision for its supplied equipment. GE Vernova leads the consortium which, with Cobra – a division of ACS Group, a Spanish company – will refurbish the Qairokkum hydropower plant. The plant is expected to be fully modernised by mid 2025.

As 90% of Tajikistan's electricity comes from hydropower, it is critical to adapt existing and new hydropower assets to future operation conditions. Qairokkum was chosen to pilot how a plant can enhance its performance through rehabilitation. Thanks to an improved design of the turbines, the plant will not only be able to produce more energy but also address variations of water flow in the region.

Bodo Mayer, Hydro Power EMEA Leader, GE Vernova, said: “The work done in Tajikistan on making hydropower plants climate resilient is essential for our industry's future and the global energy transition that we all support. We are extremely honoured to contribute to this project and for the completion of the first unit’s rehabilitation. This remarkable boost in capacity sets the stage for even greater clean energy production as we prepare to bring five more units online.”

Hydropower projects are set to be operational for the very long term, meaning that the projects will provide a large amount of renewable energy for several generations to come. A typical hydropower facility can have an operating life of more than a hundred years, if maintained regularly, without having to re-build dams.



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