Press Statement

Press Statement

25 August 2014

Firstly, we would like to express our deepest sorrow for the deplorable incident that took place on August 24, Sunday, at 15 km down to Alkumru Dam which is located on the Botan River in Siirt, and is owned by our company. We convey our sincerest condolences to the families of the people who lost their lives during the incident, and we wish quick recovery for the injured ones.

The energy generation at our power plants was initiated within the daily operation procedure in line with the order given by TEİAŞ on the date of incident; allegations about flood, dam gate failure, opening of dam gates or overflow of water from the dam do not reflect the truth.

We would like you to know that the plants are always available at service for immediate response to instructions for generation of power. Therefore, we kindly submit to your knowledge the operating principle of our plant and the events that took place on the date of incident. The daily operation of Alkumru Dam & HEPP and Kirazlık Regulator & HEPP on the Botan River in Siirt province is carried out in conformity with orders of TEİAŞ. One unit of each was in operation between the hours 06.00 - 10.00 a.m on the date of incident; later, two units of each was started to operate by 4.00 p.m upon a new order by TEİAŞ.

At this point, we would like to give brief information to correct a misperception and conclusion about how energy generation is performed at a hydroelectric power plant. During generation of energy at a hydroelectric power plant, the water taken from the dam lake is discharged into the riverbed after passing through turbines. The water is discharged through turbines under control, not by opening the gates. Thus, the amount of water discharged through turbines for generation of energy is in no way higher than the amount approved by relevant Official Bodies. Whereas, dam gates are discharge channels which are opened only when required during overflow seasons (April - May) to prevent dam from collapsing and by means of which the excess water is sluiced. These gates are in no way to be used in generation of energy and this misperception should be corrected.

Thereby, the generation of power was initiated at the power plant within daily routine operational procedure on the date of incident; contrary to allegations, no flood, dam gate failure, gate opening or overflow of water occurred on the mentioned date.

On the other hand, we had already made necessary applications with District Directorate No. 10 of State Hydraulic Works (DSİ), the Ministry of Forestry and Hydraulic Works to ensure any required measure to be taken in the district on March 3, 2014, stating that citizens must not approach the Botan River for safety of their lives and property. The governor’s office informed the local residents and assigned relevant authorities to take necessary measures.

Upon a request by the Governorship of Siirt for installation of an audible warning system, early warning systems were installed on three points (Botan HEPP, Bolaris Mineral Spring and Eruh Bridge) determined by the Administrative Directorate on the Botan River. Botan HEPP where the incident took place has an early warning system available. The three early warning systems are activated not locally but automatically via SMS sent by the power plant. The warning system is activated 15 minutes prior to arrival of water at the related point and the warning is made both with light and sound (siren) at that point. Moreover, there are many warning signs in the area, stating that it is dangerous and prohibited to enter the riverbed.

This being the case, it was understood that the citizens who were affected by the incident that happened on August 24, Sunday, had been within the prohibited area; unfortunately, this sad event happened although necessary warnings had been made with sirens and announcements as per our procedures.

Again, we would like to express our sorrow for the incident and kindly inform the public that we are closely following the news in the area and are contact with authorized bodies.

Kind Regards,

Limak Group of Companies