^ The Çetin Dam hydropower plant is Turkey’s largest embankment dam.
Article By Daniel Sweet
The Çetin Dam hydropower project is located on the Botan River in southeastern Turkey. The Botan River, which eventually joins up with the Tigris River, is well established as a candidate for hydropower projects: two dams are already in operation on the waterway, with 3 more in planning phases.
Çetin Dam is a roller-compacted concrete body embankment dam, with a volume exceeding 4.7 million m3. With an installed capacity of 420 MW, the Çetin Dam is the largest hydropower project along the Botan waterway, and the largest embankment dam in Turkey. It also stands as the largest roller-compacted concrete dam in Europe, with a height of 165m.
The resulting water backup has created a 615 million m3 reservoir of water behind the dam. As this water is released from the reservoir and fed into the dam’s power generating facilities, four vertical axis Francis turbine-generators located in the dam’s power plant will produce 135 MW of electricity per turbine, excepting one, which will generate 15 MW.
The Norwegian conglomerate Statkraft, in association with the Turkish General Directorate of Electrical Power Resources Survey and Development Administration, funded the project at a cost of USD 678 million.
Construction on the main dam began in December 2011 and the power plant was first expected to be complete in 2015, with a planned capacity of 401 MW.
As of September 2019, construction was 84% complete, and according to a Turkish government website, “at this time, as much as 15,000 m3 of concrete was poured onto the structure everyday.”
Construction finalized in January 2020, and the dam began to impound water. The first two units of the power station started generating electricity in April 2020, and the two remaining units are expected to be commissioned by the end of 2020.