The Supervisory Board of Rheinkraftwerk Iffezheim (RKI) has released funds for work involved in the installation of a fifth turbine at the Iffezheim hydro power plant on the river Rhine, southwest Germany.

The new turbine will have a capacity of approximately 38MW and a runner diameter of roughly 7.4m.

The funds will cover detailed design and approval planning for the project. The agreed planning scope covers the preparation of the entire documentation required for implementation decision, including the permitting procedures.

At present, Iffezheim hydro power plant is equipped with four bulb turbines with a maximum capacity of 110MW. Upgrading the plant would increase the average annual electricity production by 130MkWh, from 740MkWh to about 870MkWh. This increase would supply almost 90,000 people with electricity.

Iffezheim hydro power plant was put into service in 1978 and is operated by the German EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg. RKI is half owned by EnBW Kraftwerke and half by Électricité de France.

The project at Iffezheim includes a hydro power plant, a weir, a lock, and – since 2000 – a fish passage structure, one of the largest of its type in Europe. Another fish passage structure located upstream at the Gambsheim partner power station will be operational in 2006.