Delivering water to region in Turkey badly hit by drought

Paul Boughton

WEG has supplied reliable and robust motors to a major project in Turkey – the Suruç Plain Irrigation – and the fifth largest tunnel in the world, which aims to provide drinking water and water for crop irrigation to Suruç City and its 135 residential areas.

Two years of general drought in Turkey has increased deprivation of the country’s poorest population. Without water to drink or irrigate crops, the nearly 70,000 inhabitants of the agricultural district of Suruç are suffering the effects of the climate changes.

The region has received funding for economic development with the Suruç Plain Irrigation, a project which is part of the Southeastern Anatolia Program (GAP), and will irrigate over 94,000 hectares.

The total cost of the GAP project is estimated to be £20 billion and is focused on improving energy, irrigation, social infrastructure and international cooperation. The water resources development section of the program involves the construction of 22 dams and 19 hydraulic power plants and the irrigation of 17,000 km2 of land.

Work on the irrigation canal began in March 2009.  It is currently in the excavation phase and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.  Besides the irrigation canal, the fifth largest tunnel in the world is under construction, which is designed to transport 90 tons of water per second along its 17 kms. 

The project needed robust pumps and equipment to move the water from the Atatürk dam in the Euphrates River to the irrigation canal. WEG has supplied eight medium-voltage asynchronous motors, to drive the pumps that transport water to the irrigation canal.  Each motor is four metres tall and weighs 34 tons.

WEG has a longstanding 20-year relationship with its distributor Dal-Group, in the electric industry, who recommended the company’s reliable motors and who supplied them to the final customer Samsun Makina Sanayi (SMS), in the infrastructure and irrigation sector.

“This project is very important for Turkey since it aims at stimulating the migration to the northeast of the country, thus relieving big cities and improving the population’s income and life quality in the region,” explains Özer Ertokmac, Sales and Service Manager of Dal-Group.

In the Suruç region, the irrigated agriculture has been adopted in some simple crops and in the industrial production, thus increasing the culture in some plains.  
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