Ilisu Dam Plant located in the southeastern province of Mardin, Turkey, will generate 4.1 billion kilowatthours of electricity by contributing $413 million to the country's economy annually when it becomes fully operational by the year end, Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said Tuesday.
Donmez, speaking at the opening ceremony of the first turbine of the mega plant at which Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended via a video link, said that the plant has 6 turbines with 200 megawatts of installed capacity per each.
"The first turbine became operational today. The remaining turbines of the plant will become operational every other month and the plant will become reach its full capacity by the end of the year," he said.
The Ilisu Dam stands 135 meters (442 feet) high and the total water storage volume is 10.6 billion cubic meters (374.3 cubic feet), making it the country’s second-biggest dam.
Donmez reminded that the Ilisu Dam plant was a dream of 65 years and President Erdogan broke ground of the plant in 2006.
"Turkey is the 9th biggest country in the world with its hydroelectric capacity and power generation while 4th in Europe. We have completed the construction of 526 hydroelectric power plant with 16,554 megawatts of installed capacity in the last 18 years," he said.
Donmez explained that these plants have generated 310 billion kilowatthours of electricity so far which prevented $17 billion gas imports.
"Turkey's hydroelectric capacity has reached 28,713 megawatts corresponding to 50% of our total domestic and renewable energy capacity," he noted.
In the first week of May, Donmez said, the share of hydroelectric power plants in total electricity generation have reached 52%.
He also added that around 70% of Turkey's additional capacity in the last 5 years came from domestic and renewable energy sources.
Turkish President Erdogan said at the ceremony that the new dam is expected to contribute 2.8 billion Turkish liras (over $413 million) to the Turkish economy.
"The Ilisu Dam cost a total of 18 billion Turkish liras (some $2.64 billion), including the resettlement, protection of historical and cultural assets, construction, and other expenditures. All historical and cultural assets, especially Hasankeyf, which are the most misrepresented during the construction of the dam, have been carefully preserved," Erdogan said.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya