Bratsk hydroelectric plant

The Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station (also referred to as 50 years of Great October) is a concrete gravity dam on the Angara River and adjacent hydroelectric power station. It is the second level of the Angara River hydroelectric stations cascade in Irkutsk Oblast, Russia. Located in Bratsk. From its full commissioning in 1967, the station was the world’s single biggest power producer until Canada's Churchill Falls was opened in 1971. Annually the station produces 22.6 TWh. Currently, the Bratsk Power Station operates 18 hydro-turbines, each with capacity of 250 MW, produced by the Leningrad Metal Works ("LMZ", Russian: ЛМЗ, Russian: Ленинградский Металлический завод) in the 1960s.

Design and specifications


  • concrete wall of 924 m long and 124.5 m maximum height (stationary part 515 m long, waterdrop part 242 m long, dumb part 167 m).
  • by-wall house 516 m long
  • coastal concrete walls all 506 m long
  • right coast ground wall 2987 m long, left - 723 m long.

On the upper part of the dam there is the railway track of the Taishet-Lena line and a vehicle road.

There are no navigation passes, because Angara River has no through ship routes. Nevertheless, construction project includes the possibility to build a ship elevator.

Power plant

The Turbine Hall contains 18 Francis hydroturbine units, 250 MW each, with a 106 m of operating head. 5,140 m long penstock forms the Bratsk Reservoir. With the 4,500 MW of output and 22.6 TWh of annual output, it is Russia's second single producer of hydroelectricity. Output is distributed into five 500 kV power lines and twenty 220 kV lines.

The plant was designed by the Moscow-based Hydroproject (Russian: «Гидропроект») institute, and is operated by the joint-stock company Irkutskenergo (Russian: «Иркутскэнерго»), although all the buildings themselves belong to the Russia's federal government. A reconstruction project includes increasing the output towards 5,000 MW. At present, Irkutskenergo together with JSC Silovii Mashini (Russian: «Силовые машины») is modernizing the aging turbines.

  • The plant powers hundreds of factories.
  • It became a part of Bratsk territorial-production complex (Russian: Братский территориально-производственный комплекс)
  • About 75% of the output is consumed by the Bratsk Aluminium Plant.

The plan to build the hydroelectric plant was approved in September 1954 and later year the first workers and machines arrived at Bratsk. On December 21, 1954 preparation works were initiated by the Nizhneangargasstroy departament (Russian: Нижнеангаргэсстрой), later renamed to Bratskgasstroy (Russian: Братскгэсстрой). Concurrently, the city of Bratsk was founded. On December 12, 1955 Bratsk was officially converted from workers settlement into the city by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR.

Construction was declared as the Komsomol's high tempo priority goal and was in the center of public attention. Eventually, a lot of the workers were awarded state prizes and The plant became a symbol of industrial development of Siberia.

From July 1955 to October 1957 the 220 kV power line to Irkutsk was constructed. On November 6, 1957 Bratsk substation received the first current from the newly constructed plant and later that year this current was transmitted it to Irkutsk for the first time via the newly created power line. In 1961 the second 500 kV power line was added.

On March 30, 1957 the right coast of Angara river was dammed right before the icebreaking. This operation held for 9.5 hours by 8 excavators and 220 dump trucks.

On July 18, 1961 the Bratsk Reservoir started filling (level raised up to 100 m so it became the largest artificial lake of that time). First stationary 225 MW generator (No. 18) went operational on November 28, 1961 at 10:15 local time. After 7 days on December 5 the second unit No. 17 started to operate and on December 12, 1963, units No. 16 and No. 15 were included into the Unified Energy System of Siberia. On May 9, 1964, operators began to control the plant as the central control post was put into service. On September 30, 1964, the last cubic meter of concrete was poured into the dam wall.

Since March 3, 1965 a railway track was being constructed over the dam and it started to operate on June 16. A vehiclular road opened on July 28.

On December 14, 1966 the last unit, No. 1 was operational and on September 8, 1967, the State Commission accepted the inclusion of Bratsk into constant use.

Building Activity

  • Georgi Sokolov
    Georgi Sokolov updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via Annotator
  • Georgi Sokolov
    Georgi Sokolov updated 3 digital references and updated
    about 6 years ago via
  • removed a media and updated 2 digital references
    about 6 years ago via