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History of HPP in Big Almaty gorge.

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Jean Paul Richter.

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The Big Almaty Gorge is located in the bed of the river of the same name, on the northern slope of the Zailiyskiy Alatau, on the territory of the Ile-Alatau natural park in the Bostandyk district of the city of Almaty. We pass Al-Farabi Avenue and our way lies to the south along the road leading to the upper reaches of the gorge.
The street along which the road is laid, up to the dam in the gorge, is built up with numerous cafes and restaurants for every fastidious taste. We pass the dam, the construction of which has been going on since 1976 and ended in 1980.
The height of the structure is 40 meters, the length is 422 meters. The dam contained the catastrophic mudflow that threatened the city on August 3, 1977. Mud splashed out from the right tributary of the Big Almaty - the Kumbelsu River.
920 meters after the dam, one of the roads turns left into the Kazashka gorge, where, after the Kumbel hotel, a walking path begins to the Kokzhailyau valley and further to the Small Almaty gorge, After 2,700 meters after the dam, we find ourselves in the vicinity of the Second Hydroelectric Power Station.
From here, one road goes to the right into the Prokhodnoye gorge, the other goes straight to the main gorge. The construction of the HPP Cascade on the Big Almaty River was envisaged by the GOELRO plan back in 1920.
With the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the State Defense Committee of the USSR made a decision to build a cascade of hydroelectric power plants on the Big Almty River to provide electricity to factories and enterprises evacuated from the European part of the USSR.
The design and preparatory work was started by the Leningrad branch of the “Gidroproekt” Institute in 1942, and in April 1943 the construction of the first power plants began directly. The construction was carried out by the method of popular construction, in which over 6,000 residents of the city, military personnel, and prisoners took part.
Regarding the prisoners during the construction of the hydroelectric power station, Japanese prisoners of war did not take part in the construction of the hydroelectric power station. This information was published in the Central Asia newspaper published in Almaty in the early 90s.
The study of the history of the Bolshealmatinsky gorge and the history of the construction of the hydroelectric power station was carried out by an Italian journalist in 1992, who met with the inhabitants of the village of Kazachka located at the beginning of the Kazashka gorge.
As is known in the village since the beginning of the 40s of the last century, mainly Balkars evacuated from the Caucasus lived. In particular, one of the Balkar families arrived here in 1942 and a young man, who at that time was 16 years old, told the Italian journalist a lot about the Japanese prisoners and the details of the construction of the First and Second Hydroelectric Power Plants in the Big Almaty Gorge.
Japanese prisoners of war in the Big Almaty Gorge worked in the vicinity of the current dam, they prepared stone. In the construction of the cascade of hydroelectric power plants and related structures, Soviet prisoners, free settlements, and the common people of "chemists" took part.
For prisoners, 100 meters above the First Hydroelectric Power Station, a colony-settlement was built from capital brick and stone houses, a dining room, a kitchen, a medical unit, a club and a punishment cell. The punishment cell, exists to this day on the territory of the former colony-settlement.
Its premises consist of a common corridor and four cells of 4 x 2 dimensions, with massive metal doors; the cells have a small barred window and an oven. In the mid-70s of the XX century, the colony-settlement was converted first into a pioneer camp, then into the "Kommunalnik" rest house, which began to be intensively destroyed in the early 2000s.
Work during the construction of the HPP cascade was poorly mechanized and all labor-intensive operations were carried out practically by hand. At the same time, it should be noted that along the pipe, which rises to the south, along the slope from the 1st hydroelectric power station, a narrow-gauge railway was laid for transporting pipes.
The same narrow-gauge road has been laid from 2 HPPs to the place where the pipe now goes down to the HPP. In October 1953, 1 hydroelectric power station "Ozernaya" was put into operation, located at an altitude of 1938 meters above sea level.
In the building of the hydroelectric power station were installed three Italian units of the company "Ansaldo San Giorgio" manufactured in Italy in 1948, the equipment is still in operation. 1 HPP was the highest-pressure hydroelectric power plant in the entire area of ​​the former THE USSR.
With the commissioning of 2 hydroelectric power plants located at an altitude of 1422 meters above sea level, with a capacity of 14.3 MW in July 1959, the construction of hydroelectric power plants using the energy potential of the Big Almaty River was completed.
In 1947, from 2 to 1 hydroelectric power station, an automobile road was laid, along which the first one and a half trucks passed, bringing building material and cargo for the construction of hydroelectric power plants and hydraulic structures.
From the western slope of the Big Almaty gorge, in the vicinity of the 2nd hydroelectric power station, a pipe with a length of 940 meters was laid, supplying water to the turbine blades of the power plant. Almost 150 meters south of the 2nd hydroelectric power station, there was a village of power engineers Kokshoky.
There are many different opinions about the participants in the construction of the hydroelectric power station in the Big Almaty Gorge. Since hydroelectric power plants were equated with strategically important objects of the republic's energy infrastructure, it is unlikely that Japanese or German prisoners of war were involved in their construction.
A massive metal pipe 3 kilometers long and 2.5 meters in diameter was laid from the dam of the Big Almaty Lake to 1 hydroelectric power station. From 1 hydroelectric power station, for about 7 kilometers, an underground water conduit was laid along the western slope of the gorge at an altitude of 1900 meters above sea level to the beginning of the pipe, which leads to 2 hydroelectric power plants.
The difference in height from 1 HPP, where the underground pipeline begins, to the beginning of the pipe above 2 HPP is 38 - 40 meters. There is a 5.8-kilometer technological road that starts from the right bank of Bolshaya Almatinka at an altitude of 1,738 meters above sea level.
The road traverses the western slope from the south-east to the north-west and leads to an altitude of 1900 meters above sea level, where a pipeline starting from 1 hydroelectric power station comes out of the slope of the gorge.
Local tourists called this road Japanese, apparently in memory of Japanese prisoners of war participating in the construction of separate buildings in the city of Almaty. At this time, the technological road is used for walking and is very popular among tourists.
On the way up to the lake on one of the serpentines, a beautiful panorama of the gorge and 1 hydroelectric power station opens.
Geographic coordinates of the panoramic site in the Big Amaty Gorge: N43 ° 04'47.03 "E76 ° 59'01.26"
Geographic coordinates of the punishment cell on the former territory of the colony-settlement: N43 ° 04'56.63 "E76 ° 58'38.00"
Geographic coordinates of the 2nd hydroelectric power station in the Big Almaty gorge: N43 ° 06'56.99 "E76 ° 54'59.85"
Geographic coordinates of 1 HPP in the Big Almaty gorge: N43 ° 04'58.26 "E76 ° 58'34.14"

Alexander Petrov
photos by.

 Alexander Petrov and the information from a site http: //