Construction of the third highest dam in the world

Electricity for the equivalent of 650,000 households. This will be the final result of a difficult and meticulously planned project that has taken years to complete. “I told my co-workers: a day of happiness awaits us. That will be the day we see the dam working perfectly. That’s what we’re working for.” That happy day is yet to come for deputy project manager Sancak Kurt, but he still has every reason to be satisfied with how the project is progressing.

Immediately after his employer Limak Construction was awarded the contract for the project, he moved straight to the construction site, which is located in the province of Artvin in northern Türkiye. The hydroelectric plant is powered by the Coruh River, which begins in Erzurum and covers a distance of 376 km before flowing into the Black Sea.

A total of ten dams are being built in cascades along the river to generate as much energy as possible. Measuring 275 metres, the Yusufeli Dam is the highest of these ten dams and the third highest in the world. In addition to the 5,000 workers on site at peak times, a construction site of this size obviously also calls for the appropriate construction machinery.

Liebherr has provided six tower cranes, one mobile crane, ten R 954 crawler excavators and one HS 8200 duty cycle crawler cranes. Simply transporting them to the site is a challenge in itself. “Its geographical location means that the Yusufeli Dam in Artvin can only be reached by travelling through a total of 39 low and narrow tunnels. So it has to be possible to transport the equipment with normal lorries. This is no problem for our Liebherr machines,” says Murat Doğan. He is head of Sales for heavy duty cycle crawler cranes and deep foundation machines at Liebherr and has been supporting Limak Construction from the very first day. “When I was first introduced to the project and the special circumstances, we sat down with the customer to decide which machines would be most suitable.” For the work on the riverbed, for example, they chose the HS 8200 duty cycle crawler crane because of its compact design, easy operation and enormous versatility. This choice proved to be the right one, as we can see from the all-rounder’s operating times alone. Ever since its arrival, the machine has been working around 22 hours a day. “We are very pleased with the HS 8200. We estimate that by the end of the project we will be producing around one million cubic metres, and so far, everything is going smoothly,” confirms Sancak Kurt. He refers to the project as the “nirvana of his engineering career”. But he knows that it’s worth it: “Sometimes, in the evenings, I stand at the top of the dam and think about how I’m part of a project that will change the lives of many people.

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Construction of the third highest dam in the world

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