Russia: Evenki hydroelectric dam pops up again!
This sensational statement by the Deputy General Manager and Chief Engineer of "Lenhydroproject" was included in his lecture on hydropower, on November 17 as shown on the Russian TV channel "Kultura". Indigenous residents of Evenkia, local authorities and Russian environmental organisations are united in their opposition against the giant dam.
Eighteen months ago, during the public hearings in the Legislative Assembly of Krasnoyarsk Territory, experts and MPs lashed out at the plans by RusHydro and Lenhydroproject to build Russia's largest hydroelectric power station thousands of miles away from consumers. The governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory spoke out against the proposed dam on the Lower Tunguska, and in the end Evenk hydropower was excluded from the "General development plan for Russian power generation facilities until 2020." After that, the dam also disappeared from the "Strategy of socio-economic development of Siberia until 2020." Environmentalists and local residents who had been threatened with flooding, including the Evenki capital Tura and also the traditional grazing areas and nomadic reindeer, celebrating the victory. But as it turned out, that was premature. According to a new "territorial planning scheme of the Krasnoyarsk Territory," in the basin of the Yenisei River, which covers the period until 2030, it is planned to construct seven new large hydropower plants. If they are built, the area flooded will comprise about 2.11 million ha, and the volume of wood in the flood zone will be about 150 million cubic meters. For comparison, the total volume of timber from all types of logging in Russia in 2010 amounted to 175.5 million cubic meters. Among the most active lobbyists for the Evenki hydroelectric projects are the companies "Rusal" and "RusHydro". One of the potential main consumers of electricity generated in Evenkia is China. The proponents of the project believe that the most promising dams will be the Evenki, Turukhanskaya,, Osinovskaya and Igarka dams on the Yenisei River, the Podkamennotungusskaya and Ust-Podkamennotungusskaya dams on the river Stony Tunguska (Podkamennaya Tunguska), and Motyginskaya hydropower plant on the Angara River. Speaking at the sixth congress of deputies of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Region Alexander Uss said, "For very profound reasons, the people of Krasnoyarsk oppose the idea of developing the economy at any cost, without consideration of the consequences for the environment and for human health. And their "no" to the construction of the Evenki hydroelectric power station was a visible confirmation of this fact." Apparently, the people of Krasnoyarsk will now have to repeat their "no", and, apparently, much louder, if they want to be heard.