China generator advances three projects
China’s Datang International Power Generation Co. Ltd. announced operation of two hydropower projects on the Lixianjiang River and commencement of construction of a third on the Luoze River, all in China’s Yunnan Province.
Datang Power, one of China’s largest independent power producers, made the announcement as part of its annual results. The company reported a consolidated operating revenue of 32.829 billion renminbi (US$4.68 billion), up 31.85 percent for the year, and consolidated net profit of 3.406 billion renminbi (US$485 million), up 22.62 percent.
While reporting on its diversified generating portfolio, Datang Power reported the 285-mw Longma (or Long Ma) and 165-mw Tukahe (or Tukehe) hydroelectric projects were brought on line during the year on the Lixianjiang River.
Datang Power also announced it began construction of the 63-mw Luoze River Two-Level hydroelectric projects on the Luoze River in Yunnan. The company announced last year that authorities granted approval for construction of the two-plant complex.
Flow modeler opens in China
FLOW-3D Trading (Shanghai) Co. opened an office in Shanghai, China, to serve as exclusive distributor of FLOW-3D computational fluid dynamics software.
A joint venture of Flow Science Inc. of the United States and HyperINFO of Taiwan, FLOW- 3D Trading has recruited resellers throughout China.
“China is such a huge market, and it’s growing so fast that we felt it was the right place to cast aside our standard channel distribution model and jump in with both feet,” Flow Science President Thomas Jensen said.
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DR Congo names consultant for Inga complex rehabilitation
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) awarded a contract to consultants to guide the rehabilitation of the Inga hydroelectric complex on the Congo River as well as the development of related electricity transmission and distribution.
Bureau Central de Coordination of DRC utility Societe Nationale d’Electricite selected German engineering firm Fichtner from among four bidders. Fichtner bid 3.38 million euros (US$5.3 million) for Phase 1 studies over 18 months and 7.72 million euros (US$12.1 million) for Phase 2 supervision of work over 52 months.
The DRC requested funding from the World Bank’s International Development Association to finance a program to develop the DRC’s electricity market for domestic consumption and for export. Key to the program is rehabilitation and expansion of the Inga complex, which currently comprises the 350-mw Inga 1 and 1,424-mw Inga 2 plants, which produce a total of only 500 mw due to lack of maintenance.
The consultant is to carry out a detailed project preparatory study and technical specifications for several aspects of the project, including rehabilitation of Inga units and of hydropower stations in Katanga Province to restore their equipment.
Energias de Portugal S.A. signed a contract with a VA Tech Hydro consortium to equip the 191-mw Bemposta 2 hydroelectric project on Portugal’s Douro River. Under a 53 million euro (US$83.1 million) contract, a consortium of VA Tech Escher Wyss, VA Tech Hydro, and Ensul Meci is to supply a 191-mw Francis turbine-generator, command and control systems, and other hydro-mechanical equipment.
Costa Rica utility Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) awarded a contract to Spain’s Union Fenosa to develop the 50-mw Torito hydroelectric project on a build-operate-transfer basis. Fenosa said it received a concession to operate the project for 20 years on the Reventazon River. The project includes a powerhouse with two 25-mw turbine-generators and a 2.6-kilometer tunnel of 6.5 meters in diameter.
Viet Nam Machinery Installation Corp. (Lilama) received a contract to build the 180-mw Hua Na hydroelectric project on an engineering-procurement-construction basis. State-run Vietnam News Agency said Lilama received the 2.6 trillion dong (US$164.8 million) contract from Hua Na Hydropower Joint Stock Co., a joint venture of Lilama and another state-owned company, Petrovietnam.
Credit approved for Mexico’s 750-mw La Yesca
Mexico’s largest construction company, Ingenieros Civiles Asociados (ICA), closed financing of a US$910 million long-term credit to build the 750-mw La Yesca hydroelectric project on Mexico’s Santiago River.
ICA said the syndicated loan, led by WestLB New York Branch, is due in 2012, coinciding with completion of construction in Jalisco State, near the border of Nayarit State.
“This financing is the greatest that has been obtained in Mexico for a project of this type and guarantees the resources necessary to continue with its execution, which will allow it to conclude on time,” ICA’s director of administration and finance, Alonso Quintana Kawage, said.
Mexico’s Comision Federal de Electricidad awarded a contract to build La Yesca in September 2007 to a consortium led by ICA. The consortium also includes Promotora e Inversora Adisa, La Peninsular Compania Constructora, and Constructora de Proyectos Hidroelectricos.
Mexico President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa launched construction of La Yesca in January ceremonies.
The 205-meter-tall concrete-faced rockfill dam will be the tallest of its type in Mexico and one of the three tallest in the world. In addition to the dam, La Yesca includes a reservoir of 2.39 billion cubic meters, six radial gates, and an underground powerhouse.
Italy utilities form Hydro Dolomiti Enel
Locally backed Dolomiti Energia SpA signed a formal investment agreement April 24 with Italian utility Enel SpA to develop jointly hydropower projects in Trento Province and to operate a portfolio of existing hydroelectric projects in Trento.
The agreement implements a memorandum of understanding between the parties that was initialed in 2007. At that time, Dolomiti Energia SpA formed a similar understanding with another Italian utility, Edison SpA.
Enel agreed to sell Dolomiti 51 percent of its hydroelectric activities in the northern Italy province for 562.7 million euros (US$881.3 million). Enel agreed to spin off its hydroelectric operations in Trento to a new company, originally called NewCo and now named Hydro Dolomiti Enel Srl.
The transfer includes 14 concessions for major hydroelectric diversions, 22 major hydropower plants totaling 1,400 mw, and seven mini-hydro plants totaling 14 mw. Enel also is transferring its Trento gas distributor Avisio Energia to the new company.
The agreement is subject to the government granting extensions of at least ten years to the hydroelectric concessions involved in the deals as well as antitrust approvals.
Dolomiti’s shareholders are Tecnofin Trentina, Trentino Servizi, FT Energia, and Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Trento e Rovereto, plus a number of Trento utilities and private industrial shareholders.
In a separate memorandum last year, Edison agreed to spin off to a new company its three hydro plants in Trento.
India utility commissions 510-mw Teesta 5
India’s National Hydroelectric Power Corp. (NHPC) reported the commissioning of all three units of the 510-mw Teesta Stage 5 hydroelectric project on the Teesta River in India’s Sikkim State.
NHPC said one 170-MW unit was placed in commercial service with the remaining two following shortly. The 26.5 billion rupee (US$665 million) project is to generate 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours (kwh) annually for sale under a provisional tariff at 1.62 rupees (4 U.S. cents) per kwh.
The run-of-river Teesta 5 is the first of six hydropower projects to be commissioned in a cascade on the Teesta River in East Sikkim District. In late 2007, another developer, Teesta Urja Ltd., awarded a contract to equip the 1,200-mw Teesta Stage 3 project.
In 2002, NHPC awarded a US$12.4 million contract to Texmaco Ltd. of India to supply hydro-mechanical equipment for Teesta 5. The project includes a 96.45-meter-tall, 182.5-meter-long concrete gravity dam.
Norplan wins Alto Maipo contract
AES Gener has named Norplan of Norway to provide design and procurement services for the 531-mw Alto Maipo hydroelectric project in Chile’s Maipo River Basin.
Norplan was named international specialist within the sectors of tunnel works, mechanical equipment in powerhouse caverns, and electrical equipment.
AES Gener, a subsidiary of AES Corp. of the United States, is developing Alto Maipo with water utility Aguas Andinas. In 2007, AES Gener submitted an environmental impact study for the project to national environmental commission Conama.
To be built in Chile’s Metropolitan Region, Alto Maipo is to include two run-of-river underground powerhouses, 275-mw Alfalfal 2 in the Colorado River subbasin downstream from Alfalfal 1, and 256-mw Las Lajas near the confluence of the Maipo River and El Manzano marsh.
Norplan said it is to handle technical advisory and controlling functions for the underground portions of the project. Work includes a final design study, including mapping and ground investigations, tunnel design, design base for mechanical and electrical equipment, and coordination.
The consultant also is to provide procurement services, including three tunnel contracts and one electro-mechanical contract.
Norplan said Alto Maipo includes 65 kilometers of headrace, tailrace, and access tunnels; 2.5 kilometers of pressure, surge, and cable shafts; and the underground powerhouses.
Russia-India venture studies India projects
Moscow-based RusSUNHydro Ltd. formed an agreement with Tojo Vikas International Pvt. Ltd. of India to study hydropower projects in India’s Himachal Pradesh State.
RusSUNHydro, a joint venture of Russian hydropower generator HydroOGK and India business and investment company Sun Group, said it was considering participating in a tendering process for a number of hydropower sites offered by Himachal Pradesh.
Himachal Pradesh recently called for bids to develop 17 hydroelectric projects in two solicitations.
RusSUNHydro Managing Director Sergey Pavlenko said the company plans to evaluate project sites in Himachal Pradesh that have significant hydropower potential. Project power is to supply regions of India with an electricity deficiency.
Tojo Vikas is to help prepare preliminary research for investigation and preparation of project documents.
HydroOGK and Sun signed an agreement in 2007 to collaborate on hydropower development in India, and possibly in Russia. RusSUNHydro said it also is looking at project development in Nepal.
Brazil bank signs loan for 1,087-mw Estreito
Brazil’s national development bank signed a 24-year loan agreement with Suez Energy Latin America, a member of the consortium developing the 1,087-mw Estreito hydroelectric project on Brazil’s Tocantins River.
Suez said the agreement with Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimiento Economica e Social (BNDES) was for 380 million euros (US$590.8 million). That represents Suez’s share of a total 2.6 billion reais (US$1.4 billion) in financing that BNDES approved last year for the Estreito development consortium, Consorcio Estreito Energia (Ceste).
BNDES said it would provide 72.6 percent of the total project investment of 3.6 billion reais (US$2 billion).
Renova Energia Renovavel, the Suez subsidiary in the Ceste consortium, is receiving half of the BNDES funding directly and the other half indirectly as refinanced by Unibanco, Itau-BBA, Bradesco, and Banco Votorantim.
Consortium member Companhia Vale do Rio Doce is to receive financing of 808.3 million reais (US$455.2 million), while Alcoa Aluminio receives 687.3 million reais (US$387.1 million), and Camargo Correa receives 116.2 million reais (US$65.4 million).
Estreito is being financed under Brazil’s Growth Acceleration Program (PAC). The new financing is granted under a more favorable financial cost to investors.
A year ago, Suez and BNDES completed 570.2 million reais (US$277 million) in financing for the 243.2-mw Sao Salvador project, the first hydroelectric project to be financed under the PAC.
Ceste awarded a 230 million euro (US$326.6 million) contract in October to Impregilo of Italy and OAS Engenharia of Brazil to build Estreito. Construction started in early 2007 and is expected to be complete in late 2010.
ICOLD observes 80th birthday
The International Com- mission on Large Dams (ICOLD) is celebrating its 80th birthday November 24 with a conference on Water and Energy in Paris.
The meeting officially is sponsored by the French Ministry for Environment, Energy, and Sustainable Development. Attending will be representatives of most of the leading countries where dams are built. The program includes roundtables on water and energy.
ICOLD is associating with another international conference the same week, Resolving the Water and Energy Nexus, to be held November 26-28 at the central office of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris. In the framework of the International Hydrological Program of UNESCO, the conference will contribute to the preparation of the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey, in March 2009.
For information, see the ICOLD Internet site, www. icold-cigb.org.
Haiti named a Puerto Rico engineering firm to study reservoir sedimentation in connection with rehabilitation of Haiti’s 54-mw Peligre hydroelectric project. With funding from the Inter-American Development Bank, Electricite d’Haiti awarded a US$149,200 contract to Gregory L. Morris Engineering P.S.C. Morris was chosen from among four bidders.
Lancangjiang Hydropower Development Co. awarded a contract to Voith Siemens Hydro Power Shanghai to supply five 500-mva generators for the 1,800-mw Longkaikou hydroelectric project being built in China’s Yunnan Province. Voith Siemens valued the contract at more than 65 million euros (US$102.5 million). Being built on the Jinsha River, Longkaikou is to generate 7.8 million megawatt-hours per year.
An Iceland joint venture is providing consulting engineering to help utility Landsvirkjun develop 80-mw Hvammur, 50-mw Holt, and 125-mw Urridafoss on Iceland’s lower Thjorsa River. The joint venture of VST hf., VGK Honnun hf., and Rafteikning hf. received a contract worth 1.37 billion kronur (US$19.1 million).
Vietnam-Laos Electrical Joint Stock Co. signed a US$42.36 million contract with VA Tech Hydro GmbH for electrical equipment and technical services for the 250-mw Sekamang 3 hydroelectric project in Laos. Vietnam News Agency said VA Tech Hydro was chosen over four other bidders to supply turbine-generators.