HRW Briefings


Reservoir Capital to buy hydro projects in Turkey

Canadian renewable energy firm Reservoir Capital Corp. has signed a memorandum of understanding that would see it acquire a 75 percent stake in six small hydroelectric projects in Turkey.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the second half of this year, with the first hydropower plant coming on-line in early 2011 and the remainder in stages before the end of 2012. The projects have a planned combined capacity in the region of 30 MW.

Reservoir agreed to acquire a 25 percent interest in the portfolio by providing equity contributions of US$1.5 million payable by the end of March 2010, US$2.5 million payable by the end of May 2010, and US$2 million payable by the end of January 2011.

Debt financing for the projects is expected to be arranged through Turkish banks, with the current shareholders of the portfolio providing the remaining equity funding. Reservoir will acquire an additional 50 percent interest in the portfolio (for a total of 75 percent) for US$17 million, which will be paid in stages as the projects are completed and fully operational.

E.ON of Germany to sell U.S. utility assets

E.ON AG., the Germany-based parent group of E.ON U.S., which owns and operates Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement for the U.S. business’s sale to PPL Corporation for US$7.625 billion.

Pennsylvania-based PPL controls or owns nearly 12,000 MW of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets and delivers electricity to about 4 million customers. “PPL is an outstanding company with a strong commitment to their customers and the communities they serve,” said Victor A. Staffieri, chairman, CEO and president of E.ON U.S.

PPL intends to operate the company as a wholly owned subsidiary of PPL Corporation, retaining the headquarters in Louisville, as has been the case under E.ON AG’s previous ownership.

SJVN of India plans investment to boost capacity

Indian hydropower generator Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. plans to increase its power capacity from 1,500 to 6,500 MW over the next five years through investments in new hydropower projects, hydro plant upgrades and other renewable energy ventures.

The expansion plan includes the 412-MW Rampur, 775-MW Luhri, and 1,020-MW Khab projects, all in Himachal Pradesh. The company is also involved in the 252-MW Devsari, 45-MW Jakhol Sankri, and 59-MW Naitwar Mori projects.

SJVN recently decided to upgrade the generating capacity of the 40-MW Dhaula Sid hydro project it is developing, the company reported. This will now be boosted to 66 MW.

SJVN, a joint venture entity between the Government of India and the Government of Himachal Pradesh, is also involved in hydro projects in Bhutan and Nepal.

Brazil’s Reivax launches U.S. branch

Reivax, a Brazil-based firm that provides automation and control technology for hydropower and other industries, announced the launch of Florida-based Reivax North America LLC.

Initially, the company’s first North America location will provide business sales support and sales promotion for customers in Mexico, the United States and Canada, Reivax reported.

Reivax Automation and Control recently was awarded a contract with Endesa Chile for the modernization of the excitation systems and speed governor control of five hydro plants operated by the Chilean group.

With its own department of Research and Development, Reivax has teams specializing in hardware design, software design and system integration.


Ban Mong diversion canal contract granted

Vietnam-based infrastructure development company Cavico Corp. announced that its majority-owned subsidiary Cavico Mining has signed a construction contract for a diversion canal for Ban Mong Reservoir.

The value of the contract is estimated to be US$4.3 million, and Cavico Mining expects to complete the work within 10 months.

The Ban Mong Reservoir, owned by the Investment and Development Management No. 4 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, is southwest of Hanoi and is the largest water reservoir project in the western region of Nghe An province.

It will be 671 meters long, be built on 2,800 square kilometers of land, and have 235.5 million cubic meters of capacity. The main construction work associated with the project includes a primary dam that is 340 meters long, 44 meters high and 11 meters wide; an auxiliary dam that is 164 meters long with a 10-meter wide surface; and a five-gate overflow spillway.

Portugal awards contract to replace Alto Ceira Dam

Utility Energias de Portugal (EDP) has awarded a contract for replacement of Alto Ceira Dam on Portugal’s Ceira River. The 9.6 million euro (US$12.8 million) contract was given to Conduril and Ensulmeci, EDP said.

Alto Ceira is part of the hydroelectric complex that delivers water to the 24.4-MW Santa Luzia hydroelectric project in the Mondego River Basin. The work also includes partial demolition of the existing dam and landscape restoration of the site in Portugal’s Coimbra District and is expected to be complete by the end of 2012.

Toshiba celebrates pumped-storage contract win in China

Toshiba Corporation announced that its Chinese consolidated subsidiary, Toshiba Hydro Power (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd. has secured a contract to supply four 320-MW pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant systems to a project in China.

Toshiba is supplying the equipment to CSG Power Generation Company, a group company of China Southern Power Grid Co., Ltd. The systems will be installed at Qingyuan Pumped-Storage Power Station in Guangdong Province, industry sources suggested. The value of the contract was not disclosed. Toshiba Hydro Power will supply the pump-turbines, generator-motors and associated equipment, the company announced.

Contracts awarded for modeling Dead Sea refill

The World Bank, acting on behalf of regional authorities, has selected two firms to model the effects of drawing large amounts of seawater from the Gulf of Aqaba to refill the Dead Sea and possibly generate hydropower.

Thetis S.p.A. of Italy won a US$1.35 million contract, while Tahal Consulting Engineering of Israel was awarded a US$1.49 million deal. The contracts are for mathematical modeling of the effects of a proposed canal to refill the Dead Sea from the Red Sea. Proposals for the canal also include a possible hydro plant.

On behalf of Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Israel, the World Bank had previously named Coyne et Bellier of France to perform a feasibility study of an estimated US$2 billion to US$4 billion project.

The project, to build a 180-kilometer “Two Seas Canal,” is intended to reverse a 25-meter decline in the level of the Dead Sea in the past century. The Dead Sea, the lowest point on the earth’s surface, has been shrinking because of increased use of water upstream from the Jordan River, the Dead Sea’s main source. France, the United States, the Netherlands and Japan have signaled their willingness to contribute to the cost of the two-year study.

Any link between the seas might include a hydroelectric plant to capitalize on the drop of about 450 meters from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. It was estimated that a hydro plant could have a capacity of 550 MW.

Zimbabwe, Sinohydro plan Kariba expansion

Zimbabwe has signed a US$400 million agreement with China’s Sinohydro Corporation Ltd. to expand its Kariba hydropower project.

The government has signed a memorandum of agreement with Sinohydro for the expansion of Kariba by an additional two 150-MW units, the director of the Zimbabwe Power Company, the generation unit of state utility ZESA, said. Sinohydro already is working on a similar project on the Zambian side of Kariba.

Recently, Ghana’s Volta River Authority awarded Sinohydro a US$5.7 million contract for rehabilitation work on cranes and penstocks for the 1,062-MW Akosombo project.

Mangahao, New Zealand, runner contract awarded

Mace Engineering Limited has entered into an agreement with the Mangahao Joint Venture to design and build a replacement runner and ancillary items for the Mangahao Power Station.

The hydropower plant is located near Shannon in the Manawatu, New Zealand. Todd Energy is responsible for operating the Mangahao hydro plant, which it acquired in 1997 in a joint venture with King Country Energy. The project has a total installed capacity of 38 MW.

The contract involves modelling a new runner design and manufacturing the runner, wicket gates and seals. Hydroworks Ltd. is the subcontractor for the design and CFD modelling, and Mace Engineering will be machining and manufacturing all the components for the runner. PB Power is the project engineering company. Installation and commissioning is expected in late 2012.

Gamesa wins generator deal for Ashta project in Albania

Spain’s Gamesa has entered into an agreement with Andritz Hydro for the delivery of 90 permanent magnet generators for the Ashta hydro project.

Construction of Albania’s 48-MW Ashta run-of-river hydropower facility is on schedule for completion by 2012, developers reported.

The hydro project is to be operated by Austrian utility Verbund and will feature Hydromatrix technology, a trademarked product of Andritz Hydro. About 90 of these small turbine-generators will be installed in modules at the site.

Verbund and SPV Energji Ashta broke ground for construction of the Ashta project, which is located on Albania’s Drin River, in 2009.


Sibulan hydro project up and running in Philippines

The 42.5-MW Sibulan Hydropower Project has begun operation with the first of its two Philippines hydro plants, Aboitiz said.

Sibulan is a 42.5-MW greenfield project. It entails the construction of two cascading run-of-river hydropower plants that will harness the Sibulan and Baroring Rivers in Santa Cruz, Davao Del Sur. The first plant has a capacity of 16 MW. The construction of the second plant is under way, which will have a capacity of 16.5 MW once it is complete. Aboitiz is considering plans to add more capacity to the hydroelectric project in the future, the company reported.

The project includes the construction of five drop intakes; more than 16 kilometers of steel pipes to divert the water from the rivers to the plants; about three kilometers of tunnel; and about 34 kilometers of transmission lines to connect the plants to the ERA substation at Bajada, Davao City. Each plant will be capable of operating during peak hours.

Aboitiz Power Corporation’s Hydroelectric Development Corp. Inc. recently reported that it is looking for sites for new hydro projects in Luzon and Mindanao.

Slovenia’s first pumped-storage project now operating

Slovenia’s first pumped-storage hydropower project has begun operation.

The 185-MW Avce project, in western Slovenia, is projected to generate about 426 gigawatt-hours annually and cost about 122 million euros (US$164.5 million).

In 2007, the European Investment Bank (EIB) awarded 393 million euros (US$557.8 million) for energy projects in Slovenia, including a 13 million euro (US$18.4 million) loan to complete construction of the Avce pumped-storage project.


Australia backs clean generation with new funds

The Australian government will commit a further AU$652.5 million (US$547 million) over four years to establish a Renewable Energy Future Fund to support technologies including hydropower.

The fund will provide additional support for the development and deployment of large and small scale renewable energy projects, including wave energy hydropower, solar and other renewable energy technologies.

The government aims to enhance industrial, commercial and residential energy efficiency to help Australia’s businesses and households reduce their energy consumption levels.

The fund will include partnerships between the government and the private sector to make critical early-stage investments to support the commercialization of renewable technologies.

It forms part of the Australia’s expanded AU$5.1 billion Clean Energy Initiative, which includes the $2 billion Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships Program and the $1.5 billion Solar Flagships Program.

It also will complement existing support provided in a bid to meet the government’s expanded Renewable Energy Target of 20 percent by 2020.


China’s third-largest hydro project on track

China’s Xiangjiaba hydropower project is on course to start generating power in 2012, according to local sources.

The plant is situated on the Jinshajiang River on the border between Yibin County and Shuifu County in Yunnan Province, in southwestern China. At a cost of about 43.4 billion yuan (US$6.3 billion), the finished project is expected to have a capacity of at least 6,000 MW.

The facility is slated to be the third-largest hydropower plant in China, after the Three Gorges and Xiluodu facilities. According to the Yibin County government, the first turbine is expected to begin generating power in 2012, with the plant due to be fully operational by 2015.

Meanwhile, China Hydroelectric Corporation, a consolidator, developer and operator of small hydro projects, has signed definitive agreements to acquire a portion of the previously announced Minrui hydro projects, which are also located in Yunnan Province.

Norsk Hydro plans trio of projects

Norway’s Norsk Hydro is planning the groundbreaking for the Holsbru hydropower project this autumn and has delivered a concession application for two further hydropower plants in Sogn, the company announced.

The three projects are expected to increase its hydropower production by about 300 gigawatt-hours, Norsk Hydro said. The concession applications are for power plants at Oyane and Ilvatn, both in the Fortun Valley in Sogn. Norsk Hydro has announced plans to invest 2 billion and 3 billion kroner (US$300 million to $400 million) in hydropower projects in Norway over the next five to six years.

Work on Chaglla project in Peru poised to begin soon

Brazil’s Odebrecht could in September begin construction of the 360-MW Chaglla hydro project in Peru, according to local sources.

In December 2009, Peru’s energy and mines ministry and Odebrecht subsidiary Generacion Huallaga signed the definitive concession contract to build the plant. Commercial operations could begin in the second half of 2016, the ministry said at the time.

The project will use water from the Huallaga River in Huanuco region. Chaglla may have a capacity greater than 360 MW once completed.

Recently, France-based utility group GDF Suez announced it will invest about 450 million euros (US$600 million) in Peruvian hydro and thermal power plants after winning a power supply contract in the country.

GDF Suez’s Enersur S.A. unit was awarded a long-term contract to supply 662 MW of power in an auction conducted by electricity distribution companies in Peru. The contracts are for electricity supplies running from 2013 through to 2025.

France to hold auctions for 10 hydropower concessions

French Energy Minister Jean-Louis Borloo announced that the government will call for bids between 2010 and 2013 to renew concessions for 10 hydropower projects totaling 5,300 MW in capacity.

The concessions are in the Alps, including the Drac Valley 660-MW Beaufortain chain, and 720-MW Bissorte pump station; the Pyrenees, including the Ossau, Louron, and Tet valleys; and the Massif Central region, including the Dordogne and Truyere valleys. The projects’ concessions will be awarded between 2013 and 2015.

Most of France’s hydropower concessions have been operated historically by Electricite de France (EDF), with a few controlled by GDF Suez, and the European Union has called on the country to make the award of new concessions more competitive.

France’s Direction Generale de l’Energie et du Climat said awards will be based on: commitments to modernize or add to existing generating equipment; assurances to protect the environment and integrate the power projects with other water uses such as irrigation or recreation; and payment of a royalty to be divided by national and territorial governments. More information is available at

South Island project approved in New Zealand

New Zealand’s Meridian Energy has been granted resource consent for a hydropower project on the western coast of the country’s South Island.

The hydro project proposal plans for the construction of a dam and power station on the Mokihinui River north of Westport.

The hydropower project would have a capacity between 65 and 85 MW, while the dam would create a narrow, 14-kilometer-long lake.

The consent contains numerous conditions and is subject to appeal to the Environment Court, according to local sources. The developer said the $300 million hydro project would supply power for about 45,000 homes.

Meridian, a state-owned electricity generator in New Zealand, generates power solely from renewable sources, including hydro and wind power.

Dozens of hydro projects planned for Brazil

Brazil announced it will build 54 hydroelectric power plants as a part of the Growth Acceleration Program.

The hydropower plants are planned to provide a capacity of more than 47,000 MW, officials said. The Growth Acceleration Program’s second phase is scheduled to start in 2011. The investment in the hydro projects is projected to reach 116 billion reais (US$64.4 billion), according to local sources.

The 3,300-MW Jirau hydroelectric project on Brazil’s Madeira River is one of the major hydro plants being developed under the Growth Acceleration Program.

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