In 1954, International Engineering Company, Inc.
was employed by the Royal Government of Afghanistan to
complete the design and supervise construction of the
Girishk Power Development Project. The major project
features include: two hydraulic turbine driven generating
units and appurtenant facilities, completion of the six
meter drop structure, and provision of gates, gantry crane
and trashracks and construction of 75 kilometers of transmission
line with five receiving stations and distribution
The project is part of the Helmand Valley Development
Program and is located in the midst of a large irrigation
development. Although providing only 3000 kilowatts
initially and 4500 maximum, the powerplant was considered
to be vital because of an acute shortage of hydro
potential in the area and the high cost of other types of
generation in this land-locked Kingdom.
Work on the project was divided into four phases:
review of previous design work which had resulted in
construction of the drop structure and included the skeleton
powerhouse and gated by-pass flumes; preliminary and
final design; procurement of permanent materials; and
Preliminary design and construction are covered
rather briefly as they were actually outside the author's
scope of duties. Final design, however, and related aspects
are covered in detail. Full sections are devoted to
each of the four principle aspects of: mechanical design;
electrical design; structural design; and transmission
lines, receiving stations and distribution systems.
In general, each of these four sections covers
the basic criteria used in selection and coordination of
the various electrical, mechanical, and structural features
of the powerhouse, transmission line and distribution
The introductory section is devoted to background
information required for an understanding of the entire
project. A concluding section presents some of the unexpected
problems which occurred during unit start up.
The solution of these problems is one of the most interesting
aspects of the entire project design and resulted
in a smoothly functioning project.