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Hydro Power Plant Boguchanskaya, Russia


The construction of the hydro power plant Boguchanskaya began in 1980 and resumed in 2006. The plant is located on the river Angara near the town Kodinsk. It is carried out by the companies “RusHydro” and “Rusal”. In May 2006 they signed an agreement on the joint development of the Boguchanskoye Energy and Metals Complex (BEMO). The BEMO project provided: completion of the hydroelectric plant and building a nearby aluminum smelter, which would off-take considerable amount of electricity produced by the power plant. The planned design capacity is 3,000 MW. The Russian government points to the importance of completion of the hydroelectric power station for the development of the Siberian economic region according to the "Complex development of the Lower Angara Territories” strategy.

A massive protest movement was established in response to the resumption of the construction works of the power plant.

Ecologists stress that no Environmental Impact Assessment study (OVOSin Russian) was done. The following environmental and social damage is expected to happen: - flooding of 1,494 km2 of land, including 296 km2 of agricultural land (arable land, hayfields and pastures) and 1,131 km2 of forest; - complete demageof local ecosystems; - high risk of impact on Lake Baikal; - 29 settlements in the flood zone: the total number of population resettlement in the project is estimated at 12,173 people (first resettlements in 1980s, second wave of resettlements in 2007).

There are several cattle burials in this region. The cattle were died of anthrax in the xx century. Resident of the area are afraid that after the flooding anthrax spores can get into the water and then into the river.

The company "RusHydro" answered that the EIA and public hearings are not necessary, since all studies were carried out in the 80s in preparation for the construction. Environmentalists point to the change in the project plan without additional research and EIA, violation of environmental laws and real threat to the life and health of people, nature, and extensive damage to the only river flowing out of Lake Baikal and carrying its waters to the Arctic.

The protest movements "Dam" and WWF Russia took the main part in the protests against the construction works. The following actions were done: - WWF Russia appealed to Vnesheconombank (potential investor in the project) to not finance the project without the EIA study; - Demonstrations of region citizens against the project; - Lawsuit to SC "Boguchanskaya HPP"; - A lot of internet publications on the web-site web-site against large hydro power plants in Siberia; - Nine families of the village of Kezhma refused to be relocated.

In December 2010, in order to finance the project Vnesheconombank granted a loan of 28.1 billion rubles (about 0.9 billion US dollars) for a period of 16 years.

The lawsuit against SC "Boguchanskaya HPP" was rejected by the court in May 2012, the appeal was rejected on the 3rd of September 2012.

After that the protest movement has stopped. In October 2012 the first units were put into operation. The final launch is scheduled for 2014.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Hydro Power Plant Boguchanskaya, Russia
Country:Russian Federation
State or province:Krasnoyarsk region
Location of conflict:Kodinsk
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Land

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Boguchanskaya hydroelectric power is a hydroelectric power station on the Angara river, the city Kodinsk in Kezhemsk district, Krasnoyarsk region. It belongs to the Angara cascade of hydroelectric power stations, being its fourth, the lower stage.

Designed capacity of 3,000 MW

Annual electricity production: 17600 million kWh

Dam height: 96 m

Dam length: 2690 m

HPP creates Boguchanskoye Reservoir of 2326 square kilometers

Project area:150,000
Level of Investment:82,500,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:12,200
Start of the conflict:01/11/2006
End of the conflict:03/09/2012
Company names or state enterprises:RusHydro (RusHydro) from Russian Federation
RUSAL (RUSAL) from Russian Federation
Eurosibenergo (EN+) from Russian Federation
International and Finance InstitutionsVnesheconombank from Russian Federation - financing of the project
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Protest movement "Dam" , Greenpeace Russia , World Wildlife Fund , International environmental organization "Rivers Without Borders"

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination
Other Environmental impactsAnthrax contamination as a potential impact
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Infectious diseases
Other Health impactsHealth problems caused by potential decline in the water quality
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood


Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Development of alternatives:Environmentalists and citizens just wanted that the territory is kept as before, i.e. suitable for settlements, as people didn't want to relocate.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The lawsuit and appeal rejection (03.09.2012) stopped the most protest movements. The project came successfully into force.

Sources & Materials

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

General information (English)

Overall information on the power plant

Citizens protests against the power plant

WWF Russia activities against the ptoject.

Article about cooperation of RUSAL and RusHydro

Informatin on the court decision and activities on the web-site

Technical dataБогучанская_ГЭС

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Ecological risks due to the flooding.

The video describes possible risks for the health. Due to the flooding the water quality is fallen; people say that the taste of the water changed to swamp water. The problem of high levels of organic compounds is also described.

Flooding zone and related problems

The video describes the problems of the people who are forced to relocate. Often they are waiting for a long time and don’t know where they have to go. They have to leave the house even without seeing the new home.

Meta information

Contributor:Natalia Finogenova
Last update17/01/2020



Construction works








Construction works


Construction works


Construction works


Construction works