LUKOIL completed main refurbishing works at the HPP and put the plant into pilot commercial operation in the 1st quarter of 2020. As a part of the HPP modernization project, LUKOIL replaced 2 hydropower units and increased their capacity from 16 to 24 MW each. The installed capacity of the Belorechenskaya HPP now amounts to 48 MW, while its operational life is extended by 40 years. Primary generating equipment that LUKOIL installed at the plant during reconstruction works had been made in Russia. The realisation of the project took 3 years.
The reconstruction resulted in a restoration of the HPP's available capacity back to the designed level. This will provide an opportunity for a fuller use of the hydropower potential of the Belaya River, as well as for an 80% increase in the net output of green electricity (from 138 to 250 million kWh per year). The renovated plant will annually reduce GHG emissions by approximately 130 000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
"LUKOIL's full-scale reconstruction of the Belorechenskaya HPP is a great example of a mutually beneficial public private partnership. Creation of such facilities directly influences the investment appeal of the region. Hydropower development enables us to increase the power system capacity of the entire region and make up for energy deficiency. 1st of all, this means that our communities will live comfortably as they will have a steady supply of electricity. It also opens up opportunities for new investment projects, since the lack of energy resources is often the main obstacle there. Being a tourism region, we also value hydropower as an environmentally friendly way of power generation," Kondratyev noted.