Stories

Location: Corum, Turkey

Photographer: Alf Berg

The Kargi power plant is located near the town of Osmancik in Corum province in northern Turkey. The power plant utilises a 75-metre elevation difference in Turkey’s longest river, Kizilirmak. Kargi is Statkraft’s second hydropower plant in Turkey, following the opening of the Cakit power plant in the autumn of 2010.

New power for Turkey

Smart solutions and close cooperation have turned the Kargi power development project in Turkey into a success story.

The water is finally flowing through the tunnel that was literally blocking the Kargi project.

The landscape in Corum Province in northern Turkey is as varied as it is beautiful. Tall rock formations and barren hillsides are replaced by grassy plains and thin poplar trees around the next bend. These sudden changes in the landscape are the result of the North Anatolian Fault that cuts through this part of the country.

"Building a 12-kilometre-long tunnel through a geological fault is complicated and unpredictable," says Tor Ole Solheim, maintenance manager on the Kargi project.

The one-year delay bears testimony to the challenges the project has faced along the way. The giant tunnel-boring machine (TBM), which has completed most of the excavation of the tunnel, arrived at the site three months late and then got stuck while boring the tunnel.

Close dialogue with the contractor and constructive solutions steered the project safely to completion.

We have developed excellent local partnerships and gained valuable experience for the future.
Overview of plant area

Location: Corum, Turkey

Photographer: Alf Berg

Overview of Kargi power plant area.

Built from scratch by Statkraft

"Kargi is the first power plant in Turkey which Statkraft has built from scratch," says Bilge Atlar, project manager for the Kargi plant. "We have developed excellent local partnerships and gained valuable experience for the future."

Kargi makes use of a water drop of 75 metres in Turkey's longest river, the Kizilirmak. Water is now finally flowing freely from the reservoir to the power station. The tunnel is 10 metres in diameter and has a water flow of an impressive 167,000 litres per second.

"When the tunnel boring machine got stuck, we blasted into the mountain from the other side using conventional methods," says Solheim. "The result proved very successful, the project moved forward quickly and we managed to recover some of the lost time."

With the commissioning of the power plant, Statkraft has more than quintupled its capacity in Turkey, from Çakit's 20 MW to Kargi's 102 MW. When Çetin opens in 2018, it will increase by a further factor of five.

The demand for energy in Turkey is increasing, and the country is a priority for Statkraft.

"Kargi's production amounts to no more than about one per cent of Turkey's total hydropower capacity," says Atlar. "In a market dominated by fossil energy sources, however, it is important and meaningful to contribute to more renewable energy."

Text: Alf Berg
Photo: Alf Berg
The article is also published in Statkraft's magazine People & Power no. 2/2015

Operator
Tor Ole Solheim

Location: Corum, Turkey

Photographer: Alf Berg

State-of-the-art technology plays an important role in the new plant. "But our senses are still among our most important measurement instruments," says Tor Ole Solheim, maintenance manager on the Kargi project. While the tests are running, the Norwegian engineer listens attentively to the water flowing through the turbine.

Three persons

Location: Corum, Turkey

Photographer: Alf Berg

Expertise across borders. Between the last tests before the plant opens, knowledge is shared over strong Turkish tea. From left: Hans-Harald Karlsen, Tor Ole Solheim and Kadri Guben.

Lunch at the plant

Location: Corum, Turkey

Photographer: Alf Berg

When the plant is also your home, proper nutrition is important. All residents get a healthy breakfast. Olives, cheese and baguettes, and tea of course.

Overview of valley

Location: Corum, Turkey

Photographer: Alf Berg

Beautiful and varied. After a 12 kilometre journey towards the power plant, the tunnel water runs out into Lake Boyabat. In the mountains of the Anatolian Fault, both the landscape and weather can change quickly.

Water reservoir

Location: Corum, Turkey

Photographer: Alf Berg

Kargi makes use of a water drop of 75 metres in Turkey's longest river, the Kizilirmak.

Smiling men

The wait is almost over. By the summer of 2015 the Kargi plant will be fully operational. The demand for energy in Turkey is increasing, and the country is a priority for Statkraft.

Location: Corum, Turkey

Photographer: Alf Berg

With the commissioning of the Kargi power plant, Statkraft has more than quintupled its capacity in Turkey, from Çakit's 20 MW to Kargi's 102 MW. When Çetin opens in 2016, it will increase by a further factor of five.

The wait is almost over. By the summer of 2015 the Kargi plant will be fully operational. The demand for energy in Turkey is increasing, and the country is a priority for Statkraft.

22. Jun. 2015