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Karahnjukar Hydroelectric Project

The highest concrete-faced rock-fill dam in Europe, and one of the highest in the world

  • 198

    Meter High

  • 4,600

    GWh Annually

  • Karahnjukar, Iceland

    Karahnjukar, Iceland

The largest power plant in Iceland

The 690 MW project provides an economical source of electric power for an aluminum smelter. The project includes: A 198-meter-high dam, one of the highest concrete-faced rock-fill dams in the world and the highest in Europe, a unique spillway with a 90-meter-long drop to a plunge pool in the canyon, 73 kilometers of hard-rock tunnels, 50 kilometers of high-voltage transmission line to the smelter (rated 420 kV but operated at 220 kV), and a 690 MW underground power station housing six 115 MW turbines at the world’s highest-head (600 meters) with a discharge of 144 m3/s and an annual generation of 4,600 GWh.

The joint venture completed the investigations and design, bid design and preparation of bid documents for competitive bidding for the project. Our team's principal role was the design of the dam and related components such as the diversion tunnels, bottom outlet, and the toe wall or canyon plinth supporting the concrete face of the dam. Staff also assisted with design of the headrace tunnels and provided technical support during construction and assistance with claims management. The project team successfully worked at the remote site under difficult and harsh cold weather conditions.

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