Site surveys in At-Bashi to investigate in geotechnical subsurface

Beginning with the first site visit in June 2022, ILF together with other project partners started the site-specific field works on the planned Hydro4U demonstration hydropower plant in At-Bashi (Kyrgyzstan). The main focus of the site visit was to obtain basic information for the subsequent detailed design works and, in particular, to specify the planned geotechnical subsurface investigations. As part of the planning and design works for hydropower projects, direct subsurface investigations are relevant to be carried out in accordance with international standards (e.g. Eurocode 7) for the geological-geotechnical characterisation of the site-specific ground conditions and to minimize project-specific subsurface risks.


Consequently, site surveys including aerial surveys using a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle, to create digital terrain models) have been carried out for the Hydro4U project.


Based on these, rotary core drillings have been planned before the end of 2022. The drilling works will be performed in thick alluvial soils (sandy gravels with intercalated silts). In order to obtain information on grain size distributions, packing density, hydraulic permeability, shear strength, groundwater characteristics, and other parameters, continuous core recovery and in-situ geotechnical borehole testing as well as sampling will be required for subsequent laboratory analyses. The drilling works are expected to be performed by the local investor Orion LLC.


ILF will take up these results to carry out the detailed design and perform structural calculations for the concrete structures of two Hydroshaft Power Solution modules and associated structures, verify the stability of the dams of the tailrace channel and design the related erosion protection measures. Finally, ILF will prepare the construction drawings and provide site supervision services during the construction of the demonstration hydropower plant.


The ILF Group is an international engineering and consulting firm that helps its clients successfully execute technically demanding industrial and infrastructure projects all over the world in the following main business areas: Energy & Climate Protection, Water & Environment, Transportation & Urban Spaces and Oil, Gas & Industrial.



Authors: Gabriel Pojer, Christoph Prager, ILF Austria



Partner Description:

Photo credits: ILF

Studying fish movements and habitat use in the rivers of the Shakhimardan enclave – fishing/tagging/tracking

During the last two weeks of October, INBO and TIIAME visited the Shakhimardan construction site to catch and tag fish. Tracking fish leads to detailed insights on how fish move and to which riverine habitats throughout the year. This basic knowledge is currently lacking on the target species, snow trout (Schizothorax eurystomus), but essential to develop a hydropower that has a minimum impact on the species.


The goal of the trip was to catch and tag 30 snow trouts with radio transmitters. Doing so, INBO trained the researchers from TIIAME in telemetry and tagging as knowledge transfer so they can conduct such studies themselves in the future. The snow trouts were caught by electro fishing equipment. After capture, fish of a taggable size were anaesthetized to put a radio transmitter in the abdominal cavity. The opening was surgically closed and upon recovery they were put back in the river near their capture location.


The trip was not a trivial endeavor. The river current was treacherously strong, making it hard to keep up right with the electro fishing equipment. Also, the fishing was hard at the start of the trip: we mainly focused on the Shakhimardan and Aksu rivers as we thought that the snow trouts would be in the deeper parts of the larger rivers to rest during the upcoming winter season. Despite catching a few, the majority of the fish came from the smaller Koksu tributary. Numbers leaning towards the hundreds were caught. We think that the slightly warmer temperature from the Koksu attracts the snow trouts for wintering and could therefore play a key role in their life cycle. However, this is an assumption that can be scientifically validated with the tracking research. We are therefore looking forward to the data that the researchers and students from TIIAME will collect in the coming year. Last but not least we want to thank the Shakhimardan community for their big hospitality!



For a detailed blog on the trip in Dutch, click here.




Author: Pieterjan Verhelst, INBO



Partner Description: Link to the respective partner description on the Hydro4U website (by SEZ)


Twitter: @INBOVlaanderen &  @VerhelstPJ
LinkedIn: Research Institute for Nature and Forest

Facebook: Research Institute for Nature and Forest
Instagram: Research Institute for Nature and Forest

Photo credits: INBO

Happy Faces all around – Hydro4U team met with Kyrgyz cooperation partner Orion

On the 26th of October 2022, representatives of the Technical University of Munich, Global Hydro and Muhr Group met to analyse and discuss the current status of the Hydro4U project with the Kyrgyz cooperation partner Orion. The main topics of this meeting were the technology of the turbine, the steel hydraulic engineering as well as the overall arrangement of the power plant.


Orion was very pleased with the opportunity to learn about the technology in detail and was also impressed by the overall development in the Hydro4U project, which lead them to compliment the excellent work of the European Hydro4U partners.

The hosts were also highly satisfied and thus everyone agreed, that the preparations necessary for the installation of the Hydro4U demonstration object in At-Bashi (Kyrgyzstan) are in good hands with Orion.


In addition, the presentation at the headquarters of the Muhr Group in Brannenburg (Germany) was complemented by a visit to the Technical University of Munich as well as to the Dietenheim Hydroshaft power plant.

Representatives of TUM, MUHR, Global Hydro and Orion


Author: Fabian Böttger

picture credits: Roland Muhr

3rd Hydro4U Newsletter – October 2022

The third Hydro4U Newsletter has been published and sent out to our subscribers on the 24.10.2022. This month’s special topic is dedicated to the Hydro4U demonstration site “At-Bashi region” in Kyrgyzstan where a first assessment as a basis for the prefeasibility study took place, focusing on ecology, river morphology, geology, topography and on existing structures.


The whole newsletter edition is available here: Hydro4U Newsletter #3 – October 2022


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