Nurek dam and hydropower rehabilitation project

The replacement and refurbishment of mechanical, electrical, and electromechanical equipment, improvement in dam safety and operation of the power plant.

The 3GW Nurek hydropower plant in Tajikistan is currently the biggest hydroelectric power facility in Central Asia and it is undergoing a major rehabilitation to boost its generating capacity.

The Nurek Hydropower plant rehabilitation project

The Nurek dam and hydropower station is located on the Vakhsh River approximately 70km south-east of Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan, approximately 70km downstream of the Rogun dam hydropower project being developed on the Vakhsh River which will be the highest in the world when finished.

The Nurek powerplant contains nine generating units commissioned between 1972 and 1979. After more than 50 years in service, the facility was operating below its design capacity due to ageing equipment.

Owned and operated by the state-body OSHC Barqi Tojik, Nurek is a strategically important power station that accounts for more than 50% of Tajikistan’s total power generation.

The Nurek dam and hydropower plant description

The Nurek dam at the time of writing is the second highest in the world, it is a 300m-high embankment dam that creates a 98km2 reservoir with a total storage volume of approximately 10.5km3.

The powerhouse of the Nurek hydroelectric facility was commissioned between 1972 and 1979. It includes 9 x 330 MW Francis turbine units under 230 m rated head and a maximum total discharge 1'360 m3/s. Two associated substations connect the powerhouse to the 220 and 500 kV electric grids.

Gruner's services on the project

Gruner has been mandated to provide project management and coordination services for Phase 1 of the rehabilitation project including the Tender design, procurement assistance and works supervision for:

  • Three of the total nine power generating units at the facility are to be replaced with 375MW Francis turbine and generator units.
  • Balance of power plant equipment has been replaced.
  • The installation of six single-phase autotransformers in the switchyard, the inspection of the nine penstocks, the modernization of dam monitoring instrumentation, as well as the rehabilitation works on the spillway tunnel, gates and hoisting system to improve dam safety.

Phases of rehabilitation

The remaining six power generating units of the facility are planned to be replaced in Phase 2 of the rehabilitation project, expected to continue after completion of Phase 1.

Post rehabilitation, the plant’s available generation capacity is expected to be boosted from the current 2.2GW to 3.3GW.

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  • OSHC Barqi Tojik
  • Hydraulic engineering
  • Hydropower & dam engineering


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