India buzzes with hydro development activity
A significant amount of activity is occurring in the Indian hydropower market. Most recently, India’s Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited has been awarded a contract worth about US$52 million to outfit the 206 MW Shahpurkandi project being built in the state of Punjab.
Shahpurkandi, being developed by Punjab State Power Corporation Limited, will be located in Gurdaspur district downstream from Ranjit Sagar Dam. The contract includes the design, manufacture, supply, installation and commissioning of electromechanical equipment: generating units, transformers, controls and monitoring systems, and erection and commissioning equipment. The project includes dual powerhouses – one with three 33 MW turbines, and the second with three 33 MW turbines and one 8 MW turbine.
In other news, a consortium led by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) is expected to close on a pair of hydropower projects in Himachal Pradesh state, news sources in Asia report. The US$2 billion deal would see TAQA take control of two unnamed plants with a combined capacity of 1,300 MW from India’s Jaiprakash Power Ventures. TAQA would take a majority interest in the projects, while India’s IDFC Alternatives and Canada’s PSP Investments will hold the remainder.
Finally, Greenko has announced its acquisition of the 70 MW Budhil plant from Lanco Hydro. The run-of-river project in Himachal Pradesh increases Greenko’s total hydro portfolio to 245 MW. Budhil’s value is slightly more than US$104 million, the company said. The plant is expected to have a load factor of 57% and produce an annual estimated $18.9 million of EBITDA over the long term, based on current exchange rates.
Tokwe-Mukosi Dam flaws linked to cost cutting
Changes to the design of Tokwe-Mukosi Dam in Zimbabwe, made more than a decade ago, could have contributed to the flaws that caused the displacement of thousands of families earlier this year, according to a report by The Financial Gazette.
In February, more than 4,500 residents in areas downstream from Tokwe-Mukosi were evacuated following heavy rains in Zimbabwe’s Masvingo province, after water began leaking through cracks in the dam’s walls.
According to The Financial Gazette, French firm Coyne et Bellier was commissioned to provide a study for the dam and a hydropower plant in 1967. The idea was tabled then resurrected in 1980, and Coyne et Bellier provided further studies in the mid-1980s. The group proposed a concrete arch dam in 1992, but the design was deemed too expensive by the Zimbabwe government.
“The Designs Division of the Department of Water Development began a thorough investigation into the Coyne et Bellier design report and came up with a cheaper alternative in the form of a concrete-faced rock-filled dam,” said a report released in 1998 – the same year in which construction of Tokwe-Mukosi began. The dam was built by Italy’s Salini and Impregilo. Construction of the dam was not completed until 2008.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority has since said that Tokwe-Mukosi – which is still being built – will not collapse.
Work proceeds at three Russian plants
Development is moving forward at three hydro plants in Russia.
In late February, Voith Hydro delivered the first of six massive runners to the 4,500 MW Bratsk plant. Transported by one of the world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov AN124-100, the turbine was manufactured at Voith Hydro’s factory in St. Polten, Austria. Voith Hydro said the 73 ton runner was transported via air at the request of the client, Irkutskenergo, “as it considerably shortened the time to installation.”
The project, on the Angara River, was commissioned in 1967. The plant is owned by OAO EuroSibEnergo and is home to 18 turbine generators of 225 MW each.
In addition, work on the 100 MW Gotsatlinskaya plant on the Avarskoye River in Dagestan is 75% complete, project developer JSC RusHydro says. When it is complete, Gotsatlinskaya’s dam will have a height of 68 meters. RusHydro said in mid-February that concrete works at the intake and spillway were in progress, while construction of a mudslide protection trough and bridge were nearing completion. Power will be generated by two 50 MW Francis turbines, both of which have been installed, RusHydro said.
Finally, Unit 2 at the 356.4 MW Rybinskaya plant has been replaced, according to equipment manufacturer Power Machines. The modernization project increased the capacity of Rybinskaya (also called “Rubinsk”) by about 10 MW. Power Machines said the new 65 MW unit passed tests in December 2013, at which point separate components and systems were checked under no-load trial runs. The unit was then officially commissioned after running for 72 hours under load.
Andritz wins contract for Angola’s 2,070 MW Luaca
Andritz has been awarded a contract to supply electromechanical equipment for Angola’s 2,070 MW Luaca plant. The exact value of the order was not specified, although the company said comparable orders have fallen into “the lower three-digit million range.”
Per the award, Andritz will provide six 340 MW Francis turbines, generators and other equipment. The order was placed by Angola’s Empresa Nacional de Electricidade via Construtora Norberto Odebrecht.
The Lauca project will be on the Kwanza River between the existing Cambambe and Capanda complexes and is part of a continuing effort by the government to increase the country’s hydroelectric capacity. Andritz said the project is scheduled for commissioning at the end of 2017.
Alstom supplying equipment for Georgia’s Shaukhevi
An Alstom-led consortium has been awarded a US$41.23 million contract to equip the 178.6 MW Shaukhevi plant. Alstom’s share of the contract is worth about $27.5 million and includes the supply and installation of two 89.3 MW vertical Francis turbines, governors, spherical-type main inlet valves, three-phase generator step-up transformers, a 220 kV gas-insulated switchyard, an overhead crane and mechanical and electrical balance-of-plant equipment.
The project, on the Adjaristskali River in the Adjara region, is being developed by Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC, Norway’s Consortium of Clean Energy Invest AS, the International Financing Corporation, and Tata Power Company Limited of India. The cascade project will eventually include the 150 MW Koromkheti, 65 MW Khertvisi and 10 MW Skhalta facilities.
Shaukhevi, which is expected to supply energy to both Georgia and Turkey, represents one of Georgia’s largest foreign direct investment projects to date.
Hydropower prominent part of Africa’s energy future
A meeting between high-level leaders from Africa and Europe has established the goal of providing energy access to 100 million Africans by 2020, and hydroelectric power will play a key role. The meeting of the Africa-European Union Energy Partnership included more than 450 participants from 40 countries, at which the AEEP announced its goal of creating 10 GW of new hydropower.
“The Africa-EU Energy Partnership is a bold initiative founded on a simple fact: namely, that energy is fundamental to development,” said Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development Cooperation with the European Commission.
Per recommendations established during the meeting, AEEP said it hopes to “reinforce the dialogue between policy-makers and stakeholders from the private sector, civil society and academia on topics corresponding to the Africa-EU Energy Partnership 2020 targets: energy access, renewable energy market development, energy efficiency and cross border interconnections.”
While officials said this first meeting focused more on establishing broader goals, AEEP said the next one will be “directed foward shaping a forward-looking vision for energy cooperation” and “to delivering concrete results.”
Pakistan: project funding and plant expansion
The European Investment Bank has granted a US$137 million loan to Pakistan to build the 128 MW Keyal Khwar project.
Signed by EIB Vice President Magdalena Alvarez Arza and Pakistan’s Secretary of Economic Affairs Division, Nargis Sethi, the declaratory statement adds to recent funding received from Germany’s Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW) bank. EIB said it is providing the loan under its current lending mandate for Asia and Latin America.
Keyal Khwar, on the Keyal River in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, is being developed by the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). Construction is expected to take four years.
In other news, Voith Hydro of Germany and Voith Hydro Shanghai have been awarded a joint contract to supply electromechanical works for the 1,410 MW Tarbela 4 project extension on the Indus River. Offered by WAPDA, the US$312 million contract indicates Voith will provide three vertical-shaft Francis turbines and 470 MW generators, main inlet and relief valves, generator transformers, 500 kV SF6 circuit breakers, switchgear, control instrumentation, supervisory control and data acquisition systems, and other associated powerhouse equipment.
The Tarbela 4 extension will add a fourth powerhouse to the 3,478 MW Tarbela project. The World Bank is reportedly providing US$840 million of the expansion’s US$928 million price tag.
Statkraft reveals hydro rehab plan in quarterly report
Norwegian state-owned utility Statkraft has announced its intention to invest nearly US$2 billion through 2018 for upgrades and modernization to its hydroelectric power fleet. The company announced the program in its quarterly statement that was released in early February.
Statkraft said the rehabilitation works are primarily intended to extend the life of its hydropower plants, meaning increases to the company’s cumulative hydropower output will likely be insignificant. The report shows that hydropower accounted for about 95% of Statkraft’s total output in 2013. The company has hydroelectric assets in Norway, Finland, Sweden, Germany, the UK, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Sri Lanka, India and the Philippines.
World’s largest hydroelectric event three-peats as “Fastest 50” recipient
HydroVision International, the world’s largest event dedicated to the hydroelectric power industry, has been recognized for the third time by Trade Show Executive as one of the fastest-growing tradeshows in the USA.
The “Fastest 50” award is determined based on the event’s net square feet of exhibit space sold and the number of participating exhibitors. HydroVision International 2013 – held in Denver, Colo. – boasted more than 3,100 attendees from 53 countries.
Represented at the HydroVision International event were large and small hydropower producers; project developers; construction, law, consulting, engineering and financial firms; equipment manufacturers and suppliers; policy-makers and regulators; resource agencies; and other non-governmental organizations.
HydroVision International 2014 takes place July 22-25 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA (www.hydroevent.com).