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
LocationCentral Armenia
Construction began1936
Opening date1962
Owner(s)Tashir Group
Operator(s)International Energy Corporation
Power Station
Installed capacity560 MW
Annual generation412 GWh[1]
Sevan HPS
Gate of the Sevan HPP
Coordinates40°33′17″N 44°57′56″E / 40.55472°N 44.96556°E / 40.55472; 44.96556
Power Station
Commission date1949
Turbines2 X 17.1 MW
Installed capacity34.2 MW
Annual generation15 GWh
Hrazdan HPS
Building of the Hrazdan HPS
Coordinates40°30′29″N 44°45′39″E / 40.50806°N 44.76083°E / 40.50806; 44.76083
Power Station
Commission date1959
Turbines2 X 40.8 MW
Installed capacity81.6 MW
Annual generation40 GWh
Argel HPS
Building of the Argel HPS
Coordinates40°22′44″N 44°36′29″E / 40.37889°N 44.60806°E / 40.37889; 44.60806
CreatesAkhpara Reservoir
Total capacity5,600,000 m3 (4,500 acre⋅ft)
Active capacity4,100,000 m3 (3,300 acre⋅ft)
Power Station
Commission date1953
Turbines4 x 56 MW
Installed capacity224 MW
Annual generation200 GWh
Arzni HPS
Exit of the Arzni HPS
Coordinates40°17′49″N 44°35′19″E / 40.29694°N 44.58861°E / 40.29694; 44.58861
Power Station
Commission date1956
Turbines3 x 23.5 MW
Installed capacity70.6 MW
Annual generation80 GWh
Kanaker HPS
View the Kanaker HPS
LocationYerevan (Kanaker)
Coordinates40°13′14″N 44°31′06″E / 40.22056°N 44.51833°E / 40.22056; 44.51833
Power Station
Commission date1936
Turbines2 x 12.5 MW
2 x 25 MW
Installed capacity100 MW
Annual generation110 GWh
Yerevan-1 HPS
Building of the Yerevan-1 HPS
Coordinates40°11′22″N 44°29′56″E / 40.18944°N 44.49889°E / 40.18944; 44.49889
Power Station
Commission date1962
Turbines2 x 22 MW
Installed capacity44 MW
Annual generation50 GWh
Yerevan-3 HPS
Building of the Yerevan-3 HPS
Coordinates40°09′51″N 44°30′03″E / 40.16417°N 44.50083°E / 40.16417; 44.50083
Power Station
Commission date1960
Hydraulic head37 m (121 ft)
Turbines1 x 5 MW
Installed capacity5 MW
Annual generation50 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. The cascade is owned by the International Energy Corporation (IEC), a subsidiary of Tashir Group owned by Samvel Karapetyan.[2]


The first small-scale Yerevan Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) was built in 1923.

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

In 2003 the cascade was given to Inter RAO UES in return for US$25 million debt by Armenia.[4] For operation of the cascade, the IEC was incorporated.

In 2011, Rushydro bought the IEC from Inter RAO.[4][5]

In 2019 newspaper reported, that Rushydro is going to sell at $2.7 million cascade to Tashir group, owned by Samvel Karapetyan. By then the same Tashir Group already owned electricity distributions networks in the country. Buyer had to settle all debts running at $55.13 million by the end of September 2019.[1] The deal was signed in December 2019 and finalized in early 2020.[6]

Technical description[edit]

Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade is stretched over about 70 kilometres (43 mi) and 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.[7] The cascade produces about 10% of Armenia's electricity.

Electricity generation at the Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade is highly dependent on the amount of water drainage from the Lake Sevan and it is suitable for the daily peak generation.[8] Five HPPs operate all year long and two HPPs work only during the irrigation season when additional water is available in the system.[2] Therefore, the power generation during the winter is limited.[8]

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 in poor conditions and require rehabilitation.[2]

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[9]

Sevan Hydroelectric Power Plant[edit]

The Sevan Hydroelectric Power Plant, 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.[9][10] 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 HPS was renovated in 2010.[11]

Hrazdan Hydroelectric Power Plant[edit]

The Hrazdan Hydroelectric Power Plant, known as Atarbekyan during the Soviet years, is located between the Sevan and Argel stations. It has two turbines with a total installed capacity of 81.6 MW.[9][12] Its nominal annual generation is 375 GWh, but the factual generation for the last years has been about 40 GWh.

Argel Hydroelectric Power Plant[edit]

The Argel Hydroelectric Power Plant, is located between the Hrazdan and Arzni stations. 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.[9][13] 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.[14]

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.[13]

Arzni Hydroelectric Power Plant[edit]

The Arzni Hydroelectric Power Plant is located between of the Argel and Kanaker stations. It has three turbines with total installed capacity of 70.6 MW.[9][15] Its nominal annual generation is 300 GWh, but the factual generation for the last years has been about 80 GWh.

Kanaker Hydroelectric Power Plant[edit]

The Kanaker Hydroelectric Power Plant is located next to the Rusal Armenal aluminum smelter in the Kanaker-Zeytun District of Yerevan, 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 nominal installed capacity is !00 MW and the factual capacity is 87.5 MW.[9][13] 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.[16]

The plant was rehabilitated in 1993–1995, a project financed by USAID, Energy pour l’Armenie and Aznavour pour l’Armenie.[16] 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.[13] The renovation was carried out by Alstom Power Generation.[16]

Yerevan Hydroelectric Power Plant-1[edit]

The Yerevan Hydroelectric Power Plant-1 is located between the Kanaker and Yerevan-3 stations, at the central Kentron District of Yerevan. It has two turbines with the total installed nominal capacity of 44 MW and available capacity of 22 MW.[9][17] 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.[17]

Yerevan Hydroelectric Power Plant-3[edit]

The Yerevan Hydroelectric Power Plant-3 is located in Yerevan. It has one turbined with installed capacity of 5 MW.[9] Its diversion channel and penstock are part of the Artashat irrigation channel.[18]

Rehabilitation project[edit]

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.[7] 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.[2][7]

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.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b ""РусГидро" сливается из Армении". Коммерсантъ. Retrieved 2019-11-28.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Nesteruk, Fedor (1963). Развитие гидроэнергетики СССР [Development of hydropower of the USSR]. USSR Academy of Sciences Publishing House. p. 231.
  4. ^ a b "Will Another Russian Company Leave Armenia?". 2015-11-24. Retrieved 2016-03-26.
  5. ^ ""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.
  6. ^ "Продажа Международной энергетической корпорации снизила финансовый долг Группы РусГидро на 4 млрд рублей". Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  7. ^ a b c d "ARM: Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade Hydropower System Rehabilitation Project" (PDF). Asian Development Bank. March 2013. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  8. ^ a b Sheffield, John W.; Sheffield, Çigdem, eds. (2007). Assessment of Hydrogen Energy for Sustainable Development. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 215. ISBN 9781402064401.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Gharabegian, Areg (2014-05-21). "Sevan–Hrazdan Cascade Hydropower System". Asbarez. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  10. ^ "Sevan HPS". IEC. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  11. ^ "Севанской ГЭС в Армении состоялась церемония открытия восстановленного водоприемника" [The opening ceremony of the renovated water intake took place in Sevan HPS] (in Russian). ARKA. 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  12. ^ "Hrazdan HPP". IEC. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  13. ^ a b c d "Hydroelectric Plants in Armenia". industcards. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  14. ^ "Argel HPP". IEC. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  15. ^ "Arzni HPP". IEC. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  16. ^ a b c "Kanaker HPP". IEC. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  17. ^ a b "Yerevan-1 HPP". IEC. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  18. ^ "Yerevan-3 HPP". IEC. Retrieved 2016-06-24.