Ilisu dam and hydroelectric power plant construction project

Detailed design for the construction of a 131 m high, 1'775 m long concrete face rockfill dam and 1200 MW hydropower plant


The Ilisu dam and hydropower scheme is located on the Tigris River approximately 45 km upstream of the Turkish and Syrian border and 100 km east of the town of Mardin in the South-East Anatolia region of the Republic of Türkiye.

Construction of a 1200 MW dam and hydropower scheme on the Tigress river

The objective of the scheme is to provide electric power generation and flood control, as well as regulation for the downstream Cizre dam and hydroelectric power plant. The multi-annual average discharge of the Tigris River at the dam site is 490 m3/s.

The project consists of the following main works: a river diversion of a 40 m high upstream cofferdam (a central clay-core rockfill dam), 3 diversion tunnels of circular section of 12 m diameter each, and a 15 m high downstream cofferdam (an earthfill dam); the main dam formed by a 131 m high, 1 775 m long concrete face rockfill dam (CFRD) of total volume of 24 million m3 and a total reservoir volume of 11 billion m3.

The gated spillway flanked by 50 m high lateral concrete gravity dams and consisting of 6 bays of 16 m width and 17 m height, a 433 m long and 120 m wide chute, a flip bucket, a plunge pool, and a 950 m long outlet channel for a design flood of approximately 15 300 m3/s; a power intake consisting of three gated intakes, three 11 m diameter concrete-lined tunnels of length 318 m, 329 m and 340 m, and three 9 m diameter 150 m long steel-lined penstocks; and an open air building housing 6 units with Francis turbines of 200 MW capacity each providing power plant’s total capacity of 1200 MW.

Ilisu is therefore the second largest powerplant in Turkey in terms of power capacity after the Ataturk dam and hydropower scheme. The Ilisu hydropower plant will produce more than 3 800 GWh of hydroelectric power each year. 

Below is a film commissioned by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works Administration Ilisu Project 16th Regional Directorate dated April 2018 which illustrates the amplitude of the engineering works now carried out.

External content

This content is hosted by third parties and may use cookies. You will need to adjust your privacy settings to view the external content.


Gruner’s services on the Ilisu dam and hydropower construction project

Gruner was the leader of the Civil Works Design Group within the Consortium entrusted by the Owner (DSI) with the construction of the Ilisu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant and supply and erection of the relevant electromechanical equipment and cranes and commissioning of the works.

Gruner provided the following services:

  • preparation of Guideline Design and Guideline Drawings for the civil construction works and following up of the construction works with regard to the design;
  • reviewing of Application Drawings;
  • geological surveying in the course of the excavation process, geological mapping of the site locations and of the tunnels excavations and technical davice for rock stabilization and safety measures during excavation;
  • execution of coordination between the Civil Works Construction Group and the Electromechanical Works Group;
  • elaboration of detailed time schedules for all interfaces between civil works and electromechanical erection works; coordination of the design and all the related activities between the Owner and Consortium Members;
  • support of the Civil Work Construction Group in the elaboration of the concept of the overall layout of the construction site; and participation in the monitoring of the civil construction works activities;
  • Participation in the monitoring of the civil construction works activities.

The guideline design and the guideline drawings for the civil structures were based on the final design study of Ilisu hydropower consultants in 1982, the updated and revised final design drawings and the design criteria was prepared by the engineering consultancy services consortium.

For more detailed information please have a look at our Ilisu project brochure.

Back to overview

Building Contractor
  • IC Ilisu Consortium composed of Nurol & Cengiz (Turkish Civil Contractors), Andritz Hydro (HM & EM Works), Stucky & Temelsu (Engineering – Switzerland, Turkey)
  • Republic of Turkey, DSI (General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works, Ankara)
  • Hydropower & dam engineering


Contact form

More projects