On Saturday, 12 December 2009, we had the opportunity to
participate in the Panel on "Ermenek Dam and Hydroelectric Power
Plant" at the Middle East Technical University Alumni Association in
Visnelik Premises in Ankara, Turkey.
The 309 megawatt Ermenek hydropower project is currently
under construction, and located on the Ermenek River, a tributary of the Göksu
River in the province of Karaman. The Göksu River is one of the last
free-flowing rivers in Turkey.
Its delta has been recognized as a Wetland of International
Importance under the Ramsar Convention. Though there are plans for five further
hydropower plants, there has been no basin-wide assessment of the cumulative
impacts of Ermenek and the other projects.
The investment financing has been organized between the
governments of Turkey and Austria in the framework of bilateral cooperation. The
Turkish Water Works Public Institution DSI (Client) signed the contract in
2002, with the international consortium lead by local BM Holding, which acted
as a leader within the consortium.
BM Holding Vice Chairman Özgür Ça’„Ĺ¸layan Kuyumcu (CE’1998),
and Project Coordinator Hakan Kazanc (CE’1995), were the panel speakers. The Panel
Moderator was Ms. Ozlem Izlem AYDIN (EnvE’2004).
The Panel speakers explained all phases of the hydroelectric
dam construction. The project is the first of its kind where a Turkish
contractor (BM Holding) is the Pilot Company in a large multi-national
The double curvature, asymmetrical, thin concrete arch dam
body, which will have a height of 210 meters from the thalveg, is among the two
highest dams in Turkey and the 6th highest in Europe. The dam is being constructed in an extremely
deep and narrow gorge, having a width of less than 150 meters at its top, and
as little as 5 meters at its bottom.
Owing further to the highly carstified geological structure
of the project area, as well as to the obstructed access, limited only to the
use of a Cable Crane across and into the valley, the project is easily rated as
among the most demanding and technically complex construction undertakings in
Upon completion, the project will hold an important place in
the national energy generation, with a planned installed power of 309 MW.
The Project shall be completed in 5 years, where repayment
shall commence at the end of 2.5 years. The Project will be built with 100%
foreign project financing by Ermenek Consortium. The contract upfront value is
EUR 539,635,747, and the total project cost to completion is currently
estimated at approximately 700 million Euros.
The financing group includes ABN AMRO Bank, Bayerische
Landesbank, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau and Société Générale as joint lead
arrangers, Bayerische Landesbank as agent of the banks, Bank Austria
Creditanstalt Group as Co-Arranger and OeKB as facility agent. Hermes also
provided reinsurance for the OeKB export credit.
Also included in BM’s scope of works is close to 1,000,000
LM of drilling and grouting works in addition to 68,140 meters of roads and
18,729 meters of tunnels.
Since the dam has a great reservoir at the back, hydro
turbines will have greater availability in a year to generate power. We are
happy to learn that there is also a great opportunity for flood protection of
the nearby environment.
To meet our country’s increasing energy demands, we need to
have similar investments, and local contractors who can put their efforts towards
finalizing the projects. In the end, we can say that, all we need is
self-confidence, and the confidence of investors who will put money into other
similar new projects, which will utilize the local hydro capacity.
Once again, we would like to congratulate the Construction
Management and the Creditors who give money to make the project realized, and
to the engineers/ employees who make the dam construction finalized.
Your comments are always welcome. Thank you and best regards.
Haluk Direskeneli, Ankara based Energy Analyst