Tribute to Prometheus

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the author of the project of Kapchagay HPP, academician Shafik Chokin.

The century has passed since Shafik Chokin was born in a poor family in the foothills of Bayanaul on October 1, 1912. It is fitting that he was foreordained to head process of electrification of Kazakhstan after years of hard work later. It is possible to judge about the importance of achievements of Shafik Chokin for Kazakhstan by one of his large projects – Kapchagay hydroelectric power station, which serves by belief and truth to Almaty and Almaty region for 42 years.

In 1928 the 14-year-old boy with a swag on a shoulder left the small patrimonial aul (village) and went to Karkaralinsk. He should pass 400 kilometers on bad roads. In Karkaralinsk he entered the Kazakh teacher training college. He continued his studies at hydrotechnical faculty of the Omsk agricultural institute and defended with honors the “Maryev hydroelectric power plant on the Ishim River” thesis. The man of the simple people, Shafik Chokin knew firsthand how hard it is for simple worker to get water and how it is possible to raise the labour productivity by means of water supply and electrification of villages. So, the 18 rural hydroelectric power stations have been built and commissioned with direct participation and Chokin's guide on mountain streams. He created and headed the Kazakh research institute of power where unique experimental bases were placed, many of which had no analogs in the world. Chokin has laid a foundation to complex system of scientific and technical development of power industry of Kazakhstan, has developed a technique of assessment of energy consumption and optimization of ways of power supply of the industries of the national economy and power supply of Kazakhstan by economic types of fuel for needs of consumers; the general needs of agriculture for different types of energy carriers have been defined with his help, the power consumption modes in rural areas were investigated, consumption rates of the electric power for household needs were developed... He always defended the principle of the advancing rates of development of power industry. Those years he worked on new approaches to the solution of power problems of the republic on the basis of different energy carriers and renewable energy sources. He conducted researches in such directions of power industry as increase in reliability and profitability of overhead power transmission lines, studying of wind and sleet loads on a power transmission line. Meanwhile the project of Kapchagay HPP found its features. The development of the project has begun in military years. In September 1969, the Ili River was blocked. The first hydraulic unit of the Kapchagay station was started up on December 22, 1970, the last hydraulic unit – exactly in a year, on December 22, 1971. In 1980 construction of Kapshagay HPP were finally completed. The Kapshagay water-engineering system resolved a number of issues of development of power industry, a water transport, fishery and agriculture of the Almaty region. The deficit of the electric power was reduced, the strategic reserve of sweet water was created. The Kapchagay HPP is unique because it is built not on a classical model, but completely different, with a new layout. All constructions of the water-engineering system are stretched on more than a kilometer on the left bank of Ili River. The station was under construction with tenfold margin of safety. The hydroelectric power station can receive water in the amount of almost the same one more water reservoir.

The station capacity is 364 MW, the annual average power generation – 1300 million kWh. The dam of HPP forms the 18 billion cubic meters Kapshagay year-to-year storage. Today the Kapshagay hydroelectric power station is a part of “Almaty Power Stations” JSC. The main value of hydroelectric power station is the qualified and reliable personnel. “AlES” JSC carries out step-by-step reconstruction of the equipment of the station. It should be mentioned that in 1996 the president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev gave to the academician Sh. Chokin a title of the National hero of Kazakhstan with delivery of a sign of special distinction – the Gold Star. And in September, 2012 the management of “AlES” JSC in a festive atmosphere has established a memorial board to the academician Sh. Chokin on a facade of the main building of Kapshagay HPP. This is a tribute to the person, who stood at the origins of emergence of powerscience of Kazakhstan.

Alina BEKIROVA, Almaty