Yusufeli Dam to add over $221M to Turkey’s economy annually: President Erdoğan
A new dam and hydroelectric power plant built in Turkey’s northeastern Artvin province will add TL 1.5 billion (over $221 million) to the economy every year, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the Yusufeli Dam, built on the Çoruh River, Erdoğan, via a video link said the dam was completely the product of Turkish engineers.
“The new dam has a height of 275 meters (902 feet), equivalent to a 100-story building, and would generate up to 540 megawatts when it starts working at full capacity next year,” he said.
The president said the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party has focused on water resources during its 18-year rule and has “doubled the number of irrigation and flood protection facilities” in this period.
“Despite all the efforts of previous governments, Turkey only managed to build 276 dams until 2003. But in 18 years, we have put 585 new dams into service,” said Erdoğan.
“Similarly, before 2003, Turkey had just 105 hydroelectric power plants. We have added 576 more hydroelectric power plants in just 18 years,” he added.
Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said the Dam would be Turkey’s highest and third-highest dam in the world, with a body size almost like that of Eiffel Tower.
“The dam is scheduled to be completed in the fourth month of 2021 and will generate around 1.9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year”, Pakdemirli said.
“With its commissioning, Turkey’s hydroelectric power production capacity will increase by 2%”, he added.
Erdoğan also spoke about Turkey’s fight against COVID-19, saying the country had successfully managed supply of health and hygiene products, along with food, during the pandemic.
The middle-eastern country commenced its normalization process on June 1 by allowing restaurants, cafes, and similar businesses to reopen.
Domestic flights have also resumed in the country, where at least 133,400 patients from a total of 168,340 have recovered by June 6.