Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade

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Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade
Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade is located in Armenia
Locations of the Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade power plants in Armenia
Country Armenia
Location Central Armenia
Purpose Hydroelectricity
Status Operational
Construction began 1936
Opening date 1962
Owner(s) RusHydro
Operator(s) International Energy Corporation
Power station
Installed capacity 560 MW
Annual generation 500 GWh
Sevan HPP
Sevan HPP 12.JPG
Gate of the Sevan HPP
Coordinates 40°33′17″N 44°57′56″E / 40.55472°N 44.96556°E / 40.55472; 44.96556
Status Operational
Power station
Commission date 1949
Turbines 2 X 17.1 MW
Installed capacity 34.2 MW
Annual generation 15 GWh
Hrazdan HPP
Razdan HPP 08.JPG
Building of the Razdan HPP
Location Atarbekyan
Coordinates 40°30′29″N 44°45′39″E / 40.50806°N 44.76083°E / 40.50806; 44.76083
Status Operational
Power station
Commission date 1959
Turbines 2 X 40.8 MW
Installed capacity 81.6 MW
Annual generation 40 GWh
Argel HPP
Argel HPP 12.JPG
Building of the Argel HPP
Location Argel
Coordinates 40°22′44″N 44°36′29″E / 40.37889°N 44.60806°E / 40.37889; 44.60806
Status Operational
Creates Akhpara Reservoir
Total capacity 5,600,000 m3 (4,500 acre·ft)
Active capacity 4,100,000 m3 (3,300 acre·ft)
Power station
Commission date 1953
Turbines 4 x 56 MW
Installed capacity 224 MW
Annual generation 200 GWh
Arzni HPP
Arzni HPP 07.JPG
Exit of the Arzni HPP
Location Arzni
Coordinates 40°17′49″N 44°35′19″E / 40.29694°N 44.58861°E / 40.29694; 44.58861
Status Operational
Power station
Commission date 1956
Turbines 3 x 23.5 MW
Installed capacity 70.6 MW
Annual generation 80 GWh
Kanaker HPP
KanakerHPP 13.JPG
View the Kanaker HPP
Location Yerevan (Kanaker)
Coordinates 40°13′14″N 44°31′06″E / 40.22056°N 44.51833°E / 40.22056; 44.51833
Status Operational
Power station
Commission date 1936
Turbines 2 x 12.5 MW
2 x 25 MW
Installed capacity 100 MW
Annual generation 110 GWh
Yerevan-1 HPP
Erevan HPP1-4.JPG
Building of the Yerevan-1 HPP
Location Yerevan
Coordinates 40°11′22″N 44°29′56″E / 40.18944°N 44.49889°E / 40.18944; 44.49889
Status Operational
Power station
Commission date 1962
Turbines 2 x 22 MW
Installed capacity 44 MW
Annual generation 50 GWh
Yerevan-3 HPP
Building of the Yerevan-3 HPP
Location Yerevan
Coordinates 40°09′51″N 44°30′03″E / 40.16417°N 44.50083°E / 40.16417; 44.50083
Status Operational
Power station
Commission date 1960
Hydraulic head 37 m (121 ft)
Turbines 1 x 5 MW
Installed capacity 5 MW
Annual generation 50 GWh

Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade (Armenian: Սևան-Հրազդան Կասկադ) is a complex of hydroelectric power plants on the Hrazdan River and its tributaries between the Lake Sevan and Yerevan in Armenia. They use irrigation water flow from the Lake Sevan and streams waters of Hrazdan River that gives an opportunity to irrigate 70% of Armenian agricultural lands. The cascade is owned by the International Energy Corporation (IEC), a subsidiary of RusHydro.[1]


The first small-scale Yerevan HPP was built in 1923. In 1932, it was replaced by Yerevan-2 HPP. The construction of the current cascade started in 1936, when the Kanaker HPP was opened. That time it was planned to built the whole cascade by 1947. In 1940, construction of the Sevan HPP started but due to World War II, construction was suspended and the HPP became operational only in 1949. The largest HPP, Argel HPP, was opened in 1953, followed by Arzni HPP in 1953, Yerevan-3 HPP in 1955, Hrazdan HPP in 1959 and Yerevan-1 HPP in 1962. The original plan included also construction of three more HPPs—Upper Argavand HPP, Lower Argavand HPP and Noragavit HPP—but these plants were never built.[2]

In 2003 the cascade was given to Inter RAO UES in return for US$25 million debt by Armenia.[3] For operation of the cascade, the IEC was incorporated. In 2011, Rushydro bought the IEC from Inter RAO.[3][4] In November 2015 it was published that Rushydro plans to sell the IEC.[3]

Technical description[edit]

The length of the Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade is about 70 kilometres (43 mi) and it consists of seven hydroelectric power plants (HPP), with total nominal capacity of 565 MW. The HPPs are Sevan, Hrazdan, Argel, Arzni, Kanaker, Yerevan-1 and Yerevan-3—all run-of-the-river type.[5] The cascade produces about 10% of Armenia's electricity.

The operation of the Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade is dependent on amount of water supply from the Lake Sevan and it is suitable for the daily peak generation.[6] Five HPPs operate all year long and two HPPs work only during the irrigation season when additional water is available in the system.[1] Therefore the power generation during the winter is limited.[6]

The water is transported from the Lake Seven to the HPPs through open diversion canals and tunnels. Most of these canals were built in 1960s and are now under poor conditions and require rehabilitation.[1]

Power plants[edit]

Power Plant Year Number of Units Installed Capacity (MW) Available Capacity (MW) Unavailable Capacity (MW) Coordinates
Yerevan-3 HPP 1960 1 5 5 0 40°9′51.1″N 44°30′3.3″E / 40.164194°N 44.500917°E / 40.164194; 44.500917
Yerevan-1 HPP 1962 2 44 22 22 40°11′22.2″N 44°29′55.5″E / 40.189500°N 44.498750°E / 40.189500; 44.498750
Kanaker HPP 1936 6 100 87.5 12.5 40°13′14″N 44°31′6″E / 40.22056°N 44.51833°E / 40.22056; 44.51833
Arzni HPP 1956 3 70.6 70.6 0 40°17′48.5″N 44°35′18.9″E / 40.296806°N 44.588583°E / 40.296806; 44.588583
Argel HPP 1953 4 224 168 56 40°22′44.1″N 44°36′28.5″E / 40.378917°N 44.607917°E / 40.378917; 44.607917
Hrazdan HPP 1959 2 81.6 81.6 0 40°30′29.2″N 44°45′39.4″E / 40.508111°N 44.760944°E / 40.508111; 44.760944
Sevan HPP 1949 2 34.2 24 10.2 40°33′17″N 44°57′55.5″E / 40.55472°N 44.965417°E / 40.55472; 44.965417
Total 20 559.4 458.7 100.7

Source: IEC, Asbarez[7]

Sevan HPP[edit]

The Sevan HPP, also known as the Lake HPP, is the upper power station of the cascade. It is an underground power station locating 100 metres (330 ft) below the surface. It has two turbines with a total nominal capacity of 34.2 MW and the factual capacity of about 24 MW.[7][8] Its nominal annual generation is 130 GWh, but the factual generation for the last years has been about 15 GWh. The water intake of the Sevan HPP was renovated in 2010.[9]

Hrazdan HPP[edit]

The Hrazdan HPP, also known as Atarbekyan HPP, is located in between Sevan HPP and Argel HPP. It has two turbines with a total installed capacity of 81.6 MW.[7][10] Its nominal annual generation is 375 GWh, but the factual generation for the last years has been about 40 GWh.

Argel HPP[edit]

The Argel HPP, also known as Gyumush HPP, is located in between Argel HPP and Arzni HPP. It is the largest power plant of the cascade. It has four turbines, supplied by LMZ, with total installed nominal capacity of 224 MW and available capacity about 168 MW.[7][11] Its nominal annual generation is 870 GWh, but the factual generation for the last years has been about 200 GWh. The plant is important for ensuring the frequency of the Armenian power system, ensuring the emergency supply to the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant, and supplying peak-load capacity.[12]

In May 1995, landslides caused by heavy rains destroyed one of the plant spillways and blocked the Hrazdan River channel. It was restored and reopened in 2000 and 2006 correspondingly.[11]

Arzni HPP[edit]

The Arzni HPP is located in between of the Argel HPP and the Kanaker HPP. It has three turbines with total installed capacity of 70.6 MW.[7][13] Its nominal annual generation is 300 GWh, but the factual generation for the last years has been about 80 GWh.

Kanaker HPP[edit]

The Kanaker HPP is located next to the Rusal Armenal aluminum smelter in Kanaker in between of the Arzni HPP and the Yerevan-1 HPP. It has a total installed capacity of 100 MW which consists of four turbines with capacity of 12.5 MW each and two turbines with capacity of 25 MW each, all supplied by LMZ. The nomibal installed capacity is !00 MW and the factual capacity is 87.5 MW.[7][11] Its nominal annual generation is 425 GWh, but the factual generation for the last years has been about 110 GWh. The plant is important for providing the peak-load capacity as also supplying Yerevan with irrigation and industrial water.[14]

The plant was rehabilitated in 1993–1995, a project financed by USAID, Energy pour l’Armenie and Aznavour pour l’Armenie.[14] In 1995, the unit 5 and in 2000, the unit 6 were shut for the renovation, financed by the loan from KfW. These units were reopened in 2003.[11] The renovation was carried out by Alstom Power Generation.[14]

Yerevan-1 HPP[edit]

The Yerevan-1 HPP is located in between Kanaker HPP and Yerevan-3 HPP in the center of Yerevan. It has two turbines with the total installed nominal capacity of 44 MW and available capacity of 22 MW.[7][15] Its nominal annual generation is 210 GWh, but the factual generation for the last years has been about 50 GWh. It supplies the center part of Yerevan.[15]

Yerevan-3 HPP[edit]

The Yerevan-3 HPP is located in Yerevan. It has one turbined with installed capacity of 5 MW.[7] Its diversion channel and penstock are part of the Artashat irrigation channel.[16]

Rehabilitation project[edit]

Most part of the Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade is in bad condition. Since its establishment there had not been held any big repairs. There is a rehabilitation project going on the Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade that is predicted to be completed in 2017. The main goal of the rehabilitation project is to re-establish the initial capacity of the cascade.[5] The planned works for the rehabilitation project include a complete reconstruction of Yerevan-1 HPP. Sevan HPP, Hrazdan HPP, Argel HPP, Arzni HPP, and Kanaker HPP will have a new electrical equipment, such as new accumulators and generators. Also the hydro units of Argel HPP, Hrazdan HPP and Kanaker HPP will be replaced.[1][5]

As there is a plan to dredge Yerevan-1 dam right on the biological environment—there is also a high-level risk because of increased turbidity. Another negative impact may be expected due to works and equipment transportations, which would cause pollution and noise, resulting in a social indignation. The rehabilitation process will not include any further expansion or creation of new facilities—all the work items are approved according to the plan.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d DG Consulting Ltd (October 2012). "Non-Technical Symmary. Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade Rehabiliotation Project" (PDF). International Energy Corporation. Retrieved 2016-03-19. 
  2. ^ Nesteruk, Fedor (1963). Развитие гидроэнергетики СССР [Development of hydropower of the USSR]. USSR Academy of Sciences Publishing House. p. 231. 
  3. ^ a b c "Will Another Russian Company Leave Armenia?". 2015-11-24. Retrieved 2016-03-26. 
  4. ^ ""INTER RAO EEC" and "RusHydro" finished the purchase-sale deal of Sevan-Hrazdan cascade hydro-power station in Armenia". ARKA. 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2016-03-26. 
  5. ^ a b c d "ARM: Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade Hydropower System Rehabilitation Project" (PDF). Asian Development Bank. March 2013. Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
  6. ^ a b Sheffield, John W.; Sheffield, Çigdem, eds. (2007). Assessment of Hydrogen Energy for Sustainable Development. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 215. ISBN 9781402064401. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Gharabegian, Areg (2014-05-21). "Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade Hydropower System". Asbarez. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  8. ^ "Sevan HPP". IEC. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  9. ^ "Севанской ГЭС в Армении состоялась церемония открытия восстановленного водоприемника" [The opening ceremony of the renovated water intake took place in Sevan HPP] (in Russian). ARKA. 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  10. ^ "Hrazdan HPP". IEC. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Hydroelectric Plants in Armenia". industcards. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  12. ^ "Argel HPP". IEC. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  13. ^ "Arzni HPP". IEC. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  14. ^ a b c "Kanaker HPP". IEC. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  15. ^ a b "Yerevan-1 HPP". IEC. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  16. ^ "Yerevan-3 HPP". IEC. Retrieved 2016-06-24.