Global Experts Identify Top 100 Questions to Improve Sustainable Management of Hydropeaking

In a newly published study, a team of international experts has identified the top 100 high-priority questions that need to be addressed to improve the sustainable management of peak-operating hydropower, a critical component in the renewable energy landscape. This research, which was partially conducted within the Hydro4U project, is set to shape the future of hydropeaking research, policy, and management.


Hydropeaking, the rapid and frequent changes in river flow to optimize hydropower operation, has gained significant attention due to its ecological impacts and its role in integrating renewable energy production with demand. As the global commitment to renewable energy grows, understanding and mitigating the effects of hydropeaking becomes paramount.


The study employed the Delphi method, a systematic approach to achieving expert consensus, to distill over 400 initial questions to the most pressing 100. These questions span a range of themes, from hydrology and ecology to energy markets and policy. The consensus list aims to guide researchers in focusing their efforts, bridging the gap between science and policy, and ensuring the sustainable operation of hydropower facilities.


Key findings from the study include:

  • A strong understanding of the main ecological impacts of hydropeaking and efficient mitigation techniques exists.
  • There remains to be a disconnect between this understanding and its policy and management implementation.
  • The ecological effects of hydropeaking on certain organism groups (e.g., crayfish, mollusks, and birds), life cycle stages, and key physical processes, such as sediment dynamics, are still largely unexplored.
  • The socio-economic impacts and energy markets of hydropeaking need further investigation.
  • Considering hydropeaking in the broader context of climate change, urbanization, and other global trends is essential for future sustainability.


The study also emphasizes the potential of emerging technologies. Rapid advances in remote sensing and the rise of artificial intelligence offer new avenues for research. These technologies can help develop a new generation of models that consider a wide range of data, from socio-economic drivers to river flows and energy markets.


“This research is a call for a coordinated, global effort to address the challenges and opportunities presented by hydropeaking,” said Dr. Daniel S. Hayes, lead author of the study, and researcher at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. “With the identified 100 high-priority questions as our guide, we can direct our research efforts more effectively, providing policymakers with the evidence they need to ensure the sustainable management of rivers.”


The Hydro4U project is proud to have participated in this pivotal research, emphasizing its commitment to advancing sustainable hydropower practices worldwide.


The study can be downloaded for free here:

Author: Daniel Hayes, BOKU

Towards including transboundary Water-Food-Energy-Climate Nexus considerations in the decision making for new Small Hydro Power projects in Central Asia

In Central Asia, allocation conflicts between large-scale hydropower (HP) in the upstream countries and irrigation in the downstream occur regularly and mostly across complex international borders, especially during water scarce years and low storage conditions. With an increasing attention on the Sustainable small-scale hydropower production, the Water – Food – Energy– Climate (WFEC) Nexus is now under renewed focus in the Region.


In line with these developments, CARTIF has conducted a geo-localized analysis of the agriculture water withdrawal in the Region. This water consumption is a crucial element of the WFEC Nexus studies as it directly impacts into the downstream water availability affecting HP potential.


While crop production data at the national level are reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO), similar data within sub-national boundaries or river basin scale are rarely available, and not from one institution. In the absence of official statistical data at the basin level, CARTIF’s GIS assessment has been based on the Spatial Production Allocation Model (MapSPAM) [1]. MapSPAM provides open access data on 42 different crop types and its management practices at 10 km of spatial resolution on an annual basis from 2000, 2005 and 2010. Each pixel in the region is associated to a harvested irrigated area and a specific crop yield. The latter can be transformed into agricultural water withdrawal rates by means of the water requirements for each crop type, identified in relevant publications [2-5]. Following this methodology, it has been possible to compute the agricultural water consumption in Central Asia and in the zone of runoff formation (ZRF), an area located in the mountainous territories and which concentrates the higher HP potential in Central Asia [6], as it is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Water consumption calculated for irrigated crops, Central Asia (picture 1) and close up of the zone of runoff formation area (picture 2).

These geo-located results of the water demand by irrigation could be used to reduce the circulating flow at points with small HP potential located downstream of the cultivated area. In this way, WFEC Nexus variables could be included in the HP potential estimation, ensuring that an adequate management is guaranteed between water uses.


Within Hydro4U, project partner CARTIF is leading the replication activities of sustainable small-hydropower potential, which includes the development of the Hydro4U replication guideline tool. They contribute to the determination of the sustainable hydropower potential based on GIS data and impacts modelling at river basin scale. This also helps to quantify the shared benefits and trade-off analyses in the context of the Water-Food-Energy-Climate nexus. Project outputs also support the development of a screening tool to analyse site-specific hydropower conditions in Central Asia.



Authors: Iván Ramos & Raquel López, CARTIF

Picture credits: CARTIF Technology Centre, 2023




[2] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) AQUASTAT Crop Water Information [Dataset] Available online: (accessed on 20 May 2023).

[3 ] Oweis, T.; Hachum, A.; Pala, M. Lentil Production under Supplemental Irrigation in a Mediterranean Environment. Agric. Water Manag. 2004, 68, 251–265, doi:10.1016/j.agwat.2004.03.013.

[4] Mohamoud, M.; Abdalla, A.; Elhag, M.; Yousif, L. Estimation of Water Requirement and Water Productivity of Sesame Crop (Sesamum Indicum L.) in Dryland Areas of Sennar State, Sudan. 2019, 1–16.

[5] Torres, R.R.; Robaina, A.D.; Peiter, M.X.; Ben, L.H.B.; Mezzomo, W.; Kirchner, J.H.; Rosso, R.B.; Pimenta, B.D.; Pereira, A.C.; Loregian, M.V. Water Productivity and Production Function in Irrigated Millet Crop. Semin. Ciências Agrárias 2019, 40, 2837, doi:10.5433/1679-0359.2019v40n6Supl2p2837.

[6] De Keyser, J., Hayes, D. S., Seliger, C., Siegfried, T., López, R., Ramos, I. & Habersack, H. (2023). Hydro4U – Deliverable 1.4 First technical report.


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

Twitter: @CARTIFCT

LinkedIn: CARTIF

Facebook: CARTIF


In nature, evolutionary changes usually take place incrementally, although their effects can be enormous. While developing the new ‘EVO’ turbine series, Hydro4U project partner and the Upper Austrian hydropower all-rounders at Global Hydro Energy GmbH subjected their Pelton, Francis, and Kaplan turbines to a complete rethink, adapting and optimising them to meet the very latest requirements in terms of environmental protection, economic efficiency and ease of maintenance.


The new Kaplan EVO is the centrepiece of the promising modular shaft power plant – a further development of the patent power plant concept created by the Technical University of Munich. It’s an independent Kaplan turbine system that opens up new perspectives for previously unexploited low-head sites. The Kaplan EVO is predestined for use in both refurbishment projects, and all existing transversely-built low-head structures.


Source & Authorisation: zek HYDRO  (edition April 2023, pages 44-47) 

Download the full version here, available in English, Russian & German:

Picture credits: GHE

Wet and Hot Central Asia

Hydro4U project partner hydrosolutions GmbH has recently submitted a paper manuscript to the open-access Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Journal. In this scientific study, the researchers from hydrosolutions GmbH, jointly with partners from Central Asia, investigated the impact of climate change on the water resources of 221 catchments in high-mountain Central Asia during the 21st century. Figure 1 shows a map of the study region. The highlighted area includes Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the Hindukush, Gissar-Alay, Pamir, and Tien Shan Mountain ranges.

Figure 1: Map showing semi-arid Central Asia. 221 catchments were delineated and are color-coded according to the larger basin where they are located. They cover an area of 423’099 km2. Where available, long-term historic discharge data shows increasing trends in water supply (blue dots). The red dots show decreasing trends in discharge.

They used a simplified soil moisture water balance model to examine how precipitation gets divided into runoff and evaporation under different climate scenarios. They also compared future periods (2011-2040, 2041-2070, and 2071-2100) to a baseline period (1979-2011) to estimate changes in water discharge across the region and for all catchments using this model.


The researchers used high-resolution historic climate data to obtain daily temperature and precipitation values for each catchment. They also used data from four different climate models (WCRP Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 6) to predict future climate conditions and compared these predictions to the baseline observed data. To account for variations in soil characteristics, they tested their model’s performance against different soil parameters.


Using the historic climate (Figure 2) and discharge data together with the model, it could be shown that, on average, 42% of the total precipitated water in the mountains runs off to the plains in the downstream where most of it (>> 90%) is consumed in irrigated agriculture. The rest evaporates back to the atmosphere where part of the moisture gets recycled in precipitation.

Figure 2: The left plate shows the aridity index of each catchment and the right plate mean precipitation levels of the baseline period. The aridity index is a measure of dryness.

Data from the climate models indicate that Central Asia will likely experience more precipitation and warmer temperatures in the future. The average increase in total precipitation across the catchments and scenarios is 4.44% for 2011-2040, 5.89% for 2041-2070, and 8.51% for 2071-2100. The median increase in temperature relative to the baseline is +1.33°C, +2.44°C, and +3.55°C for each respective period (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Distributions of mean future climate states over all 221 catchments as a function of the climate scenario and the target time period. hist_obs refers to the baseline climate investigated. The remainder scenarios are different climate scenarios with increasing CO2 atmospheric concentrations. Period p1 is from 2011-2040, p2 is from 2041-2070, and p3 is from 2071-2100.


The results suggest that on average water discharge will also increase by 4.71%, 7.44%, and 10.87% in the corresponding periods, despite the potential for increased evaporation (Figure 4). This implies that even though glaciers might contribute less water, the overall water availability in the region will still increase. The most significant changes are expected in the Afghan Murghab-Harirud basin and the Amu Darya.

Figure 4: Per-scenario statistics of relative changes in discharge over the 221 catchments for the three periods. Period p1 is from 2011-2040, p2 is from 2041-2070, and p3 is from 2071-2100.


The study also highlights the need for further research on how these climate changes may impact extreme weather events in Central Asia, as this remains an understudied topic. Overall, the research suggests a warmer and wetter future for the region, with implications for its water resources and hydrological extremes. These are also important in the context of the current and future hydropower developments in the region.



For more information, please visit the preprint online.


Author & picture credits: Tobias Siegfried, hydrosolutions GmbH

The Socio-Economic Impacts of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus on Women’s Livelihoods in Central Asia

The water-energy-food nexus is a critical issue in Central Asia, and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has been at the forefront of conducting comprehensive analyses to address this challenge. Central Asia, which includes countries such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, is characterized by a complex web of interdependencies between water, energy, and food production. Water is a scarce resource in Central Asia, with the region being home to some of the world’s largest rivers, including the Amu Darya and Syr Darya. These rivers are critical for irrigation, hydropower generation, and transportation, making them a key component of the water-energy-food nexus. However, increasing demand for water for agriculture, urbanization, and energy production has led to over-extraction of water from these rivers, resulting in declining water availability for all sectors.


The Hydro4U partner IWMI has conducted in-depth analyses of the water-energy-food nexus in Central Asia, using interdisciplinary approaches that integrate hydrology, agriculture, and energy systems. These analyses have revealed the complex interactions and trade-offs between water use for irrigation, hydropower generation, and food production. One of the key findings of IWMI’s research is the significant impact of climate change on the water-energy-food nexus in Central Asia. Changing precipitation patterns, receding glaciers, and rising temperatures are altering water availability, leading to shifts in agricultural productivity and energy generation.


The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) also has conducted extensive analysis of the water-energy-food nexus in Central Asia, taking into account the social aspects, including the role of women and children. Central Asia is a region where social dynamics and gender roles play a significant role in shaping water, energy, and food security outcomes. IWMI’s research has recognized that women and children are often disproportionately affected by water, energy, and food challenges in Central Asia. Women, in particular, play a crucial role in agriculture and household food production, as well as in water collection and management.


In Kyrgyz Republic, over 60% of the people live in rural areas, while in Uzbekistan, the urban and rural populations are split almost evenly at 50%. The challenge for these rural communities is the access to clean and running water, as the water supply systems established during the Soviet era have not been properly maintained or refurbished. Uzbekistan, located in a dry region of Central Asia, inherited a well-developed water supply and sanitation infrastructure, but the system is outdated, damaged by corrosion, operating inefficiently. Continuity in water services is lacking, and there is insufficient pressure in pipelines.


In both Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan, women are primarily responsible for collecting, distributing, and managing household water and sanitation practices. Research on Gender and Water (World Bank) in Uzbekistan shows that in households without access to drinking water, 61% of the burden of collecting water falls on adult women. This task is physically strenuous, time-consuming, and can be hazardous. Moreover, the time spent fetching water reduces opportunities for women to pursue education, generate income, develop skills, and engage in leisure activities.


The HYDRO4U project, funded by the European Union, is small hydropower installation that is making a significant impact on the water-energy-food nexus in rural Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, not only by providing clean and sustainable energy but also by bringing about crucial social benefits, particularly for women and children in these communities.



Find out more in our next Newsletter edition!



Author: Saida Usmonova, IWMI

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Picture Credits: Bertalan Alapfy


Small-scale hydropower potential analysis and fish sampling campaign in Central Asia | Recent updates from Hydro4U partner BOKU

In Hydro4U, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) is represented by two institutes: the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and River Research (IWA) and the Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG). The BOKU team has been analysing Central Asian rivers through large-scale GIS datasets and conducting ecological and geomorphological sustainability assessments at the project’s demo sites in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.


Determination of the small-scale hydropower potential of Central Asia


A key task of the last year’s project work was to assess the small hydropower potential of Central Asia through a multi-step procedure. This was achieved by reducing the theoretical line potential towards a sustainable one by including various sustainability and technical aspects in the calculations. By achieving this milestone, a major step has been made in order to achieve one of the goals of Hydro4U: the development of a GIS-based decision support system for sustainable hydropower covering Central Asia.


The results show much untapped sustainable small-scale hydropower potential in the region. In the next step, the scenario building will be performed to assess hydropower development, for example, in the context of legal and regulatory frameworks but also ones based on different nature conservation levels.


Fish sampling campaign to At-Bashy River, Kyrgyzstan


In October 2022, Daniel S. Hayes and Bernhard Zeiringer (BOKU) travelled to the At-Bashy demo site in Kyrgyzstan to sample fish diversity with scientists from TIIAME and the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan.


The sampling campaign confirmed the presence of three fish species to be considered for sustainability assessments: the Tibetan stone loach (Triplophysa stoliczka), osman (Diptychus sewerzowi), and snow trout (Schizothorax sp.). The results indicate that fish species in the At-Bashy River system are reproducing naturally. However, the weir may hinder the spawning migration of adult fish, leading to a reduction in stock size upstream. The high abundance of subadult and adult fish, especially snow trout, in the lowest reaches of the river suggests that these areas serve as winter habitats, highlighting the importance of river connectivity for up- and downstream migrating fish.


Special Hydro4U session at IAHR 2023


The BOKU team is pleased to announce that a special session will represent the Hydro4U project at the 40th IAHR World Congress, held in Vienna, Austria, from 21-25 August 2023. The session titled “Introducing the “WFE” Nexus to Central Asia Focusing on Sustainable Development of Small Hydropower” will be chaired by experts from TUM (Nils Rüther and Hannah Schwedhelm), BOKU (Jan de Keyser and Daniel S. Hayes), and HSOL (Tobias Siegfried).


The conveners look forward to an exciting session and welcome you to join!


Registration is open: Registration – IAHR World Congress

Authors: Daniel S. Hayes, Jan De Keyser, BOKU


Picture Credits: Daniel S. Hayes, Jan De Keyser et al.

SJE Ecohydraulic Engineering – Mitigating the impact of hydropower in Shakimardan, Uzbekistan

The ecological sustainability of hydropower is one of the key aspects within Hydro4U. Lessons learned in Europe but also other parts of the world show that impacts of hydropower have caused a severe reduction of riverine fish in number and diversity. For instance, through hindering migration, changing the flow regime by lowering the base flows, generating fast artificial flow changes, or disturbing natural habitat structures.


At the demonstration site Shakimardan, Uzbekistan, the impacts of hydropower development on the river Koksu have been studied by SJE in cooperation with local experts such as the Central Asian partner TIIAME and European partners like BOKU and EVINBO. These results have been considered in the planning of the hydropower plant in collaboration with the project partners KJ Consult and TUM Munich.


A new cell phone-based mapping tool designed by SJE has been applied to collect habitat information along the affected, more than 3 km long section of the river Koksu and to integrate it into a GIS. Habitat information for the target species snow trout (Schizothorax eurystomus), has been jointly collected via E-Fishing by BOKU and TIIAME. This information has been used for simulations performed with the SJE-owned software CASiMiR ( for various river flows to find a seasonally adapted E-Flow that protects the local fish population.


The existing diversion weir and intake structure are modernised and equipped with a state-of-the-art fish way respectively a bypass installation that enable up- and downstream migration for snow trout. A migration barrier within the diverted river section is made passable by building a fishway adapted to the local lack of space. Currently, a telemetry study is performed by TIIAME and EVINBO using fish tagging with passive integrated transponders and the mapping tool, to find out about the migration movements of snow trout. The gained insights will feed into the adaptive management of the future Hydro Power Plant.




Author: Matthias Schneider, SJE Ecohydraulic Engineering GmbH

Photos and figures by Matthias Schneider and Tobias Hägele, SJE GmbH

Behind the scenes of European project cooperation: How does innovation management work?

The European Commission funds project consortia with the aim of promoting Europe’s innovative strength and bringing innovations more quickly to the European market and establishing them sustainably. As an expert in innovation management, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum works as a catalyst for the European Commission and project consortia.


Within the application stage, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum already acts as enabler and, if desired, also as project partner by accompanying the development of solutions and innovations on the way to a successful market launch. Together with the partners, our systematic approach enables the development of solid exploitation strategies, action plans and business models for commercially exploitable project results. In this context, intellectual property management plays an important role: through purpose-driven knowledge transfer and solution-oriented exchange, partners are enabled to adequately protect their project results for later exploitation.

The challenge lies mainly in the complexity of the different expectations and goals of the individual project partners, since the number of European and international partners in EU projects can range between 10 to 40.



Innovation management in Hydro4U

Small-scale hydropower is not extensively exploited in Central Asia despite considerable potential to satisfy unmet electricity demand and chart a new way forward in cooperative cross-sectoral management of shared waters.

Hydro4U will offer innovative, modular and standardised hydropower solutions for both low-head and medium-head application. In addition to direct market access for the participating project partners, Hydro4U will facilitate market access for European hydropower manufacturers and service providers in Central Asia as a whole.



Steinbeis Europa Zentrum accompanies innovation processes

Starting from the very beginning with the project conception phase, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum supported the coordinating Technical University of Munich, together with the 11 other European and international partners and accompanied them through the application process.



Target Group perspective and expectations

In Hydro4U, partners from both Central Asia and the European Union are working together on project implementation to contribute to sustainable and environmentally friendly energy production for Central Asia through scientifically supported activities and the testing of technological solutions. Close cooperation between all stakeholders and investors involved is an essential aspect of Hydro4U. The different expertise of the partners (including industry, science, politics) leads to diverse perspectives on the interrelationships between ecology, technology and society, which have to be taken into account in innovation management, especially in exploitation strategies.



Innovation management and exploitation

Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, as partner in Hydro4U responsible for exploitation, is meanwhile working systematically with the project partners to describe the innovative project results in terms of content, to define the exploitation intentions as well as to clarify ownership and access rights. The project partners, through their different expertise, co-develop very good approaches to solutions for the common challenges. Steinbeis Europa Zentrum for instance, organised interactive pitching sessions on individual project results. In a pitch, each of the participating partner organisation had presented its favoured project outcome and the associated challenges to the consortium. Through the resulting feedback from different perspectives as well as through the targeted exchange, further synergies between the partners could be established. Overall, these pitching sessions received very positive feedback and resonance from the partners.


This collaborative approach is consistently promoted and encouraged by Steinbeis Europa Zentrum. The most promising project results are selected in the course of the project and, in a next step, small working groups will then elaborate different aspects, for instance the Central Asian framework conditions for market entry and adequate business models. Furthermore, future steps and responsibilities for a successful and effective utilisation of the project results are also determined within these groups.


With the involvement of Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, a clear demarcation and description of the jointly developed project results is ensured, which further enables the clarification of the Intellectual Property situation including the access rights as well as responsibilities for further exploitation steps. In addition, the development of an exploitation strategy is secured as well as the results of joint partner contributions. This also extends to market analysis from different perspectives. Moreover, with Steinbeis involvement in the project, participatory approaches are further established in Central Asia as well as future steps and responsibilities for successful exploitation of the project results.




Author: Isabelle Dubreuilh, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum

Picture Credits: Bertalan Alapfy, Technische Universität München

Muhr Group relies on scalable approach for the new hydroshaft power plant

During the last 12 months, the Muhr Group worked on the scalable design approach for the new hydroshaft power plant. Now they finalised all the relevant steps and submitted the associated final report, the time was right for an interim summary.


The assessment is consistently positive: Very little time has passed between the first prototype design and an achievement of product readiness level. To have increased the marketability of the hydroshaft power plant to such an extent – and so early in the product’s life cycle – is a great success for Muhr. The level of marketability achieved is made possible through Muhr’s scalable design approach.




From Concept Study to CAD Model


The aim of the design work was to achieve a level of optimization that would allow to meet the ambitious goals of the Hydro4U project (funded under the Horizon 2020 research programme). Muhr started with concept studies, which were further developed into CAD models, based also on feasibility tests and FEM simulations. These 3D models are much more than three-dimensional technical drawings. They were designed in such a way that they can be used for cost calculation, procurement, and manufacturing of the planned power plants. The scalable approach allows power plants to be designed and implemented in less than a year.


All products were prepared for future use based on lessons learned from the operation of the first two commercial power plants. The first two power plants are also equipped by Muhr and successfully generate green energy for about 900 households.




The Muhr Group’s involvement in Hydro4U


The Muhr Group supplies the following products for the new plant type hydroshaft power plant:


  • Inlet and outlet stop log including frames, for damming up the power plant in case of maintenance work.
  • Control gate including downstream fish pass for regulating the dam height, allowing the turbine to produce power as efficiently as possible. The control gate also serves as a flushing opening for the passage of bedload in the river course, as a fish pass for fish and other aquatic creatures downstream of the power plant, and as an opening of the discharge cross-section in the event of a flood.
  • Shaft trash rack with cleaning bar for cleaning the turbine water (to protect the turbine) and the shaft trash rack, which ensures the efficiency of power generation.
  • Mounting frame with mounting points for shaft trash rack and control gate. These are pre-assembled at the factory, allowing for easy and quick installation on site. This results in a significant reduction in construction effort, construction time and construction costs.




Greater marketability through scalable approach


Hydro4U’s goal is to increase the marketability of the new type of power plant and to create an overall economic concept for shaft power plants. Muhr’s scalable approach meets this goal: The modular components are designed in such a way that they can be re-dimensioned for all future power plant designs. There is no need to design parts for individual projects, which results in considerable time and cost savings.

Supply chains and manufacturing plans are also created and improved to increase marketability. Muhr has solved the new requirements for the scope of supply due to the NEXUS approach of the EU:


  • The fish pass is flexibly adaptable to the respective species at the site, and the corresponding insert parts can be individualized.
  • The onward transport of bedload is optimized. As a result, the riverbeds retain their natural morphology.
  • The plant is prepared for climate change and can be equipped with a high and a low temperature option.
  • The moving parts are not driven hydraulically, but by electric motors, meaning that oil spills cannot occur.




Proof of concept: Power plant At-Bashi, Kyrgyzstan


The feedback from others has been excellent so far. In October 2022, representatives of Orion (Kyrgyzstan) visited the Muhr Group’s headquarters in Brannenburg, Germany. Orion was extremely satisfied with the state of development. There was also praise at the general meeting of the Hydro4U project consortium in Uzbekistan in June 2022: Muhr’s work was highlighted as well thought-out and versatile.

Looking back on what has been achieved since the beginning of the project, there is unanimous agreement that the chosen approach is the right one. This will be proven with the construction of the power plant at the At-Bashi site. All products are scheduled to be shipped there by end of November 2023, with construction to start on the beginning of 2024. The final commissioning of Uzbekistan’s first shaft power plant is scheduled for end of November 2024.




Author: Fabian Böttger, MUHR Group



1) The CAD models, which are designed using Muhr’s scalable approach, can also be used for cost calculation, procurement, and manufacturing.

2) The modular components can be re-dimensioned for all future power plant designs, eliminating the need to design parts for individual projects.



Photo credits: Muhr

Site surveys in At-Bashi to investigate the geotechnical subsurface conditions

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