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Iron Gate I Hydroelectric Power Station

The Iron Gate I Hydroelectric Power Station (Romanian: Porțile de Fier I, [Ђердап I, Đerdap I] error: {{lang-xx}}: text has italic markup (help)) is the largest dam on the Danube river and one of the largest hydro power plants in Europe. It is located on the Iron Gate gorge, between Romania and Serbia.

Iron Gate I Hydroelectric Power Station
HE ĐerdapI Karataš.jpg
Iron Gates seen from Kladovo
Location Iron Gate
Coordinates 44°40′15″N 22°31′45″E / 44.67083°N 22.52917°E / 44.67083; 22.52917Coordinates: 44°40′15″N 22°31′45″E / 44.67083°N 22.52917°E / 44.67083; 22.52917
Construction began 1964
Opening date 1972
Dam and spillways
Impounds Danube River
Height 60 m (200 ft)
Length 1,278 m (4,193 ft)[1]
Creates Iron Gate I Reservoir
Total capacity 2.1 km3 (0.50 cu mi)
Catchment area 577,250 km2 (222,880 sq mi)
Surface area 104.41 km2 (40.31 sq mi)
Power Station
Turbines Romania: 6 × 194.3 MW
Serbia: 3 × 171 MW, 3 × 190 MW
Installed capacity 2,249 MW
Annual generation Romania: 5.24 TWh
Serbia: 5.65 TWh

The Romanian side of the power station produces approximately 5.24 TWh annually, while the Serbian side of the power station produces 5.65 TWh.[2] The discrepancy in power output between the two halves is due to the generating equipment. While Romania's equipment is newer and thus more efficient (thereby generating more power), it is proving more unreliable; resulting in increased downtime for maintenance/repairs, and consequently lower annual power output overall.[3]



The project started in 1964 as a joint-venture between the governments of Romania and Yugoslavia for the construction of a major dam on the Danube River which would serve both countries. At the time of completion in 1972, it was one of the largest hydroelectric power stations in the world with twelve units generating 2,052 MW, divided equally between the two countries at 1,026 MW each.[2]

The small inhabited island of Ada Kaleh was submerged during the construction.


As the original turbines' 30 years lifespan came to an end, in 1998 the Romanian half of the dam started a program of modernization. As part of this program, the first of the turbines was stopped in 1999. By 2007 the program was completed and the Romanian half of the dam's operations were back to full capacity. The nominal capacity of each of the six units was increased from 171 MW to 194.3 MW, thus giving an installed capacity of 1,166 MW[4] and increasing the entire power generation capacity of the dam to 2,192 MW at the time. On the Serbian part of the dam, modernization started in July 2008;[5] so far Units 4 to 6.[6] The units are being upgraded with the help of Russian company Power Machines from Saint Petersburg, as well as their subcontractors with the participation of eleven domestic companies.

In addition to the upgrades, the Serbian side is planning on building a new, smaller power station, called Iron Gate III ([Ђердап III, Đerdap III] error: {{lang-xx}}: text has italic markup (help)).[7]

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