US-based Stone & Webster has announced that it is proceeding with the US$310M Konaktepe hydro project in Turkey. Stone & Webster, the principal contractor for the 235MW nominal capacity scheme, will be responsible for engineering, procurement and construction. Turkish partner Soyak International will be responsible for the civil construction.

Konaktepe is located on the Manzur River in the Tunceli Province, in east central Turkey. Electricity in the region is currently provided by diesel generators. Steady economic development and population growth have resulted in an approximate 8% annual increase in electricity demand.

The Turkish government plans to reduce the amount of power it develops using diesel as a fuel. Hydroelectric plants account for only 37% of the country’s installed generating capacity. Konaktepe was one of several power projects encompassed in a joint statement signed by US Commerce Department Secretary William Daley and Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources M. Cumhur Ersumer in Washington, DC in February. The US Commerce Department agreement was necessary for the project to secure financing from the Export-Import Bank of the US.