Moving on to new tasks with both relief and sadness

Currently Statkraft is constructing two new Hydro Power Projects in Turkey and the one I have been a part of is the Cetin HPP. The project is consists of two dams; one rock filled dam with an asphalt core (~140 meter) and one concrete dam (~35 meter). The turbines will have an installed capacity of 517 MW and produce 1400 GWh pr year. The regulated area of the river Botan is located approximately 60 km east of Siirt. The Botan is the main tributary to the Tigris River.

Project Site, Botan river in the bottom of the valley

Changing tasks

After 9 months in Turkey my tasks in the project is changing, from one phase to another. From February I have filled the position of Project Controller (main responsibilities being: cost control, forecasts and progress plan), but from now on I’ll be a part of the Engineering Team. The details of my new tasks are still a bit unclear, but I know that I will be given the coordination responsibility of the Switch Yard.

″Two things I have at least learned; 1) to work for long hours and 2) to deliver on tasks I didn’t know how to perform.”
Alkumru Dam, located downstream the Cetin Project

Working long hours

My stay in Turkey has given me many experiences. I have found the opportunity of being the Project Controller to be both challenging and quite stressful from time to time.. To be “thrown into” a position as Project Controller during startup of such a large project, and at the same time being a freshman, have definitely given me some new grey hears. But it has also been some of the most exiting I have done in my life work wise. Two things I have at least learned; 1) to work for long hours and 2) to deliver on tasks I didn’t know how to perform. So it is with both relief and sadness I’m moving on to new tasks. Relief that someone else are to deal with all the demands and “all my mistakes” in the future, and sadness as there are so many more thing I would like to contribute too in the project as Project Controller.

“Mardin, a historical old city located on the edges of the Mesopotamian flatlands, has a fantastic view and is definitely worth a visit.”

Diyarbakir

Not all work

But Turkey has not been all work; this part of Turkey has fantastic scenery and a history that goes back to the start of civilization. The area scenery changes significantly. Around Diyarbakir the area is flat and dominated with farmland but as one moves closer to Siirt (and the location of the project) the mountains sours up. Once one reaches the area around Lake Van 4-5000 meters high mountains are found, with Mount Ararat being the tallest at 5137 meters. Southwards toward Syria the country is “hilly” with grapes and pistachio trees, but at the border to Syria the Mesopotamian flatlands start, here everything is completely flat. Mardin, a historical old city located on the edges of the Mesopotamian flatlands, has a fantastic view and is definitely worth a visit. The area is by no means flooded with tourists from outside Turkey, actually you might struggle to find one. The result of this is that there are not too many opportunities for activities. This was shown when some colleagues and I visited the Göbekli Tepe outside Sainlurfa (Urfa). The Göbekli Tepe is the oldest known temple in the world, being form 10 000 BC. The road to the site was almost impossible to find (no signs) and we only found it by asking to the local villagers (must have a Turkish person with you as English knowledge is at best limited to hello and goodbye). At the site there were some Turks but no a soul from any other nation.

My stay at the Cetin Project has been a fantastic experience. Even though I’m looking with great enthusiasm forward to this last three months it will be good to be back in Norway by the end of the trainee periods.

Fresh grilled spicy trout

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