On December 22 the Dnister Hydroelectric Power Plant – the largest in Europe – was put into operation. Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was given the well-earned right to press the start button on the plant’s first unit.

"In this crisis year we finished the construction of the largest hydroelectric power plant in the EU and CIS – the Dnister Hydroelectric Power Plant. Construction had been stalled for 25 years, since Soviet times." Yulia Tymoshenko noted. The launch of the first unit, she added, is the realization of the government’s energy strategy for Ukraine through 2030.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the board of OJSC Ukrhidroenerho, Semen Potashnik, assured the Prime Minister that the construction of the Dnister Hydroelectric Power Plant will be completed on time. "I want to assure Yulia Tymoshenko that the government’s decisions to launch the second unit in 2011 and the third unit in 2012 will be implemented," he said.

The Dnister HPP is one of the largest pumped storage electric power plants in the world. Construction began in 1983. Its main function is to regulate the frequency and schedule of the load on the Ukrainian electricity system and build an emergency reserve of electricity.

According to designs, the Dnister HPP (7 pump-turbines) will have an electrical output of 2268 megawatts in generating mode and 2947 megawatts in pumping mode. The station will have seven identical pumping units.

The overall cost of the project is 5.8 billion hryvnia.

The first unit is planned to produce 240 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2010. The second and third units will be operational in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The 7 planned units will have a total capacity of close to 2.5 million kilowatts.

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