According to the International Tunneling and Underground Space Association (ITA), the UMA OYA multi-purpose project implemented by the Iranian company Farab was placed among the four selected projects in the 50 to 500 million euro projects category in 2020.
In this project, Dr. Nourzad, Dean of the Faculty of Civil, Water and Environmental Engineering of Shahid Beheshti University has introduced a new method considering high water pressure with water ingress up to 850 liters per second in an alluvial environment. With this new method, the average daily drilling of 2 Meters can reach 11 meters.
The UMA OYA multi-purpose project is located in southeastern Sri Lanka, 200 km from the capital. It includes two dams, a 120 MW underground hydropower plant, 28 km of water and access tunnels, three vertical shafts of a total length of 850 m, and 23 km of the transmission line. The project aims to improve the irrigation of 5,000 hectares of agricultural land, transfer 145 million cubic meters of water per year and produce 290 gigawatt-hours of energy per year.
ITA evaluated 54 volunteer projects for the current year in eight categories. Project evaluation is based on indicators such as operation volumes, safety principles, the role of the project in overcoming problems, reducing pollution and protecting the environment, and specific achievements and innovations.