Russian hydroelectric power generation company RusHydro has opened its new thermal power plant, Sakhalinskaya GRES-2, on Sakhalin Island.

The 120MW power plant, which will replace the obsolete Sakhalinskaya GRES scheduled for decommissioning, is capable of generating 840 million kWh of electricity annually.

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Prior to its opening, it has successfully completed the comprehensive tests.

RusHydro noted that the commissioning of the thermal power plant would ensure a reliable power supply for the Sakhalin region, and it will also have the capacity to reserve electricity for future use.

The plant features two turbine units and two boiler units, and is equipped with a 65m ‘dry’ cooling tower which excludes any losses of water.

Urals Turbine Works and ELSIB manufactured the steam turbines and generators respectively, whilst the boiler units were made by Power Machines.

Construction works on Sakhalinskaya GRES-2 started in 2015 on the Western coast of the island.

By 2014, the power generation capacity of the Sakhalinskaya GRES plant decreased from 315MW to 84MW, which forced the island to rely on Yuzhno-Sakhalinskaya CHP-1 as the main source of electricity. The plant was commissioned in 1965.

With the opening of the new facility, Sakhalinskaya GRES will be dismantled after 2020 and the employees will be transferred to other facilities owned by RusHydro.

RusHydro further added that all the equipment installed at the thermal plant has been designed to resist natural disasters such as earthquakes with a magnitude up to nine on the Richter scale and strong typhoons.