HRW Briefings


Hydro Tasmania begins work on Tungatinah modernization

Work has begun on the $60 million modernization of the 125 MW Tungatinah station, Hydro Tasmania says.

The project involves replacement of the turbine and control system on three of the five generators at Tungatinah, together with refurbishment of many other components.

Site works are under way to upgrade the first unit. This is the culmination of more than three years of planning and procurement, with the generator expected back in service at the end of June 2011, they add.

Major equipment for the project on the Nive River has been designed and manufactured by Alstom Hydro, with local implementation of the works supported by Alstom’s operation based at Moonah.

Sinohydro building project in Iran, supporting Vietnam project

China’s Sinohydro has signed a deal to build a 108 MW project in Iran, the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) reported.

According to SASAC, the RMB10.035 billion (US$1.5 billion) project will be constructed on a 101 meter-high dam and will take Sinohydro about 60 months to complete.

The hydro station is one of several cooperative projects between China and Iran and is one of the Iranian Ministry of Energy’s key energy projects, wire services reported.

In related news, Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) has awarded Sinohydro several contracts worth a combined US$92.7 million to provide engineering and civil works of the 156 MW Song Bung 4 project on the Song Bung River in Quang Nam Province.

Song Bung 4 is to include a dam; headrace tunnel; underground penstock; power station about 5 km downstream from the dam; and 35 km-long transmission line. The project is expected to be completed in 2013.

Norsk Hydro to upgrade Rjukan system

Norsk Hydro will invest about NOK850 million (US$143.9 million) from 2011 to 2015 to upgrade the Rjukan hydro system in Telemark, southeast Norway. Work involves modernizing the major facility to ensure long-term safe and stable power supplies, wire services reported.

The Rjukan system comprises five power plants, with combined average annual production of about 3 TWh. The work will consist of upgrading of the waterways, installing new control systems and power distribution, and rehabilitating generators and turbines.

The Rjukan system includes the Froystul, Vemork, Saheim, Moflat, and Mael plants.

RusHydro refurbishing existing facilities, purchasing hydro developer

RusHydro is working with to refurbish several of its hydropower facilities.

RusHydro and Alstom Hydro of France have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to participate in development of RusHydro’s assets, Alstom Hydro announced. The MOU includes a decision to consider possibilities of cooperation with respect to the reconstruction and refurbishment of several operating Russian hydro plants, including pumped-storage plants, as well as optimization and maintenance.

As a first case, Alstom and RusHydro have agreed to consider how they could cooperate on modernization of the Kubanski cascade complex in southern Russia and the new 140 MW pumped-storage plant at Zelenchuk.

In related news, RusHydro and Voith Hydro signed an MOU to upgrade and re-equip the utility’s hydro plants, news agencies reported. The document provides for the joint consideration of technical and commercial terms of a long-term contract to supply equipment for RusHydro’s generating facilities. Among the work included is almost complete upgrading of the Volga-Kama and Caucasian hydropower plants, wire services reported.

In addition, OJSC Power Machines has signed a contract with RusHydro to supply nine units to the 2,300 MW Zhigulevskaya station on the Volga River in Russia, Power Machines says.

The contract is worth about RUB11.5 billion (US$370.7 million). The contract is part of the program for technical re-equipment and reconstruction of Zhigulevskaya in 2011-2015, which the compnay says is aimed at accelerating the pace of reconstruction.

As part of the contract, Power Machines will design, manufacture, and supply the 129 MW units. It must also partially replace ancillary equipment. Commissioning of the first unit is scheduled for 2013. The new units will increase capacity by about 94 MW, Power Machines reported.

In other news, RusHydro has signed an agreement to buy a controlling interest in Dakdrinh Hydropower from Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation, which owns 75 percent of the company. Dakdrinh Hydropower is currently building a 125 MW hydropower plant in Quang Ngai province in Vietnam.

The deal, signed in Hanoi during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s official visit to Vietnam, is in line with RusHydro’s development strategy until 2015, RusHydro reported.

The sale contract will be ready by the end of this year, when the asset’s evaluation is completed, RusHydro says.

Rainpower Small Hydro AS appoints new managing director

Fredrik Rignes is now managing director of Rainpower Small Hydro AS. He replaces Soren Albers, who accepted a position with SN Power.

In this new position, effective December 1, Rignes is responsible for progressing the development of the company.

Before joining Rainpower, Rignes was regional sales director with Alstom Norway AS. He also was head of AMT AS and managing director of Sentech AS.

Rainpower is headquartered in Kjeller, Norway, and supplies water turbines and accessories.


Alstom supplying equipment in China, India

Alstom has won a contract to supply equipment for the 200 MW Xiajiang project under development in China.

The contract, worth about €50 million (US$69 million) and awarded by Jiangxi Province Xiajiang Water Control Project Headquarters, involves the supply of five 40 MW bulb turbine and generator units. Currently under construction on the Ganjiang River, 160 km from Nanchang city in Jiangxi Province, the hydro plant is due to be operational in summer 2013.

The equipment will be manufactured and supplied by Alstom Hydro China at Alstom’s new manufacturing site at Tianjin.

In India, Alstom Projects India Limited won a contract worth about INR550 million ($12 million) from developer Lanco Infratech Limited to equip a new hydropower plant in India’s northern region, Alstom reported.

Within the scope of this turnkey contract, Alstom will supply a pair of 38 MW Francis turbines and generators, as well as the main inlet.

The 76 MW Phatabyung project will be set up in the Uttarakhand region on the bank of Mandakini River.

The order entails end-to-end manufacturing of equipment at Alstom Hydro’s Vadodara facility in Gujarat State.

Impregilo to build El Quimbo project in Colombia

Impregilo has won a contract to build the El 400 MW Quimbo project in Colombia, the Italy-based construction and civil engineering firm announced. The value of the order is about €250 million (US$340 million).

Spanish utility Endesa, through its Colombian subsidiary Emgesa, will invest US$837 million to develop the El Quimbo plant in the Department of Huila on the Magdalena River, Business News Americas reported previously.

El Quimbo will feature a 150 meter-high, 635 meter-long main dam and smaller secondary dam. Construction of the project, which will generate about 2,216 GWh/year, is expected to take about four years, Impregilo said.

Voith Hydro to overhaul generator fleet of Kraftwerke Hinterrhein

Voith Hydro will overhaul 13 hydro generators for Swiss utility Kraftwerke Hinterrhein AG by 2016.

The contract value runs up to €32 million (US$44.3 million), the company says.

The power plant fleet of Kraftwerke Hinterrhein consists of four hydro plants that bring a range of technological requirements: 240 MW Sils and 220 MW Baerenburg use vertical high-pressure Francis units; 189 MW Ferrera uses horizontal pump-storage units with motor-generators; and the 6 MW Thusis is a small plant.

ABB generator circuit breakers to protect hydro plants in China

ABB is to supply generator circuit breakers (GCBs) to major hydropower plants in China as part of power sources to China’s “West to East power transmission” program, the company says.

According to an announcement, ABB will deliver HEC7/8 generator circuit breakers to the Xiluodu, Xiangjiaba, Jinping-I & II, and Guandi projects, ensuring their safe and efficient operation.

ABB goes on to say that GCBs are essential equipment for safe and reliable power plant operation. The large generators have large short-circuits and breaking current. The fault currents will seriously endanger the safe operation of the power station. In the case of fault currents, the GCBs immediately cut off the circuit, isolating any damage, protecting the generator, transformers and other core devices, therefore, significantly improving the operational safety of the power station.

Using SF6 as insulating and arc-extinguishing media, the HEC7/8 GCBs are capable of cutting off a short circuit current of up to 210 kAs. It can be deployed in generating units with a rated power level of up to 1,500 MW to withstand any fault currents, they add.

Xiluodu and Xiangjiaba, built and operated by the China Three Gorges Corporation, are in the Jinshajiang River Basin on the border between Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. When they begin operation in 2014, the 13,860 MW Xiluodu will generate 64,000 GWh of electricity per year, while 6,400 MW Xiangjiaba will generate 30,700 GWh.

Jinping-I & II and Guandi, in Yalongjiang River Basin, are being developed by Ertan Hydropower Development Co. Jinping-I & II, with a total capacity of 8,700 MW, will generate 42,000 GWh of electricity when construction is completed in 2014. The 2,400 MW Guandi plant, a complementary project for Jiping-I & II, will generate some 11,800 GWh of electricity per year starting in 2013.


Tinguiririca hydro complex unveiled in Chile

In November 2010, Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera officially unveiled the 310 MW Tinguiririca complex in the Tinguiririca valley of central region VI Chile, Tinguiririca Energia has announced.

The complex consists of two 155 MW run-of-river plants, La Higuera and La Confluencia. The former plant had originally been expected to open in 2009.

Tinguiririca Energia has invested US$800 million in the plants, which connect to the country’s southern power grid through a substation purchased by transmission company Transelec in a US$20 million deal earlier this year.

Tinguiririca Energia is a joint venture owned by Australia’s Pacific Hydro and Norway’s SN Power.

Units begin operating at two plants in Brazil

Brazilian utility sector regulator Aneel has authorized commercial operations of one of the two units at the 19.4 MW Figueiropolis plant, wire services have reported.

In a regulatory filing, Aneel okayed operations of Unit 1, which has an installed capacity of 9.7 MW.

The plant is in Mato Grosso State. It is owned by local firm Companhia Hidroeletrica Figueiropolis.

In addition, two of the four units of the 855 MW Foz de Chapeco plant are now operating, a spokesperson for federal power company Eletrobras Furnas told wire services. The first unit began operating in October and the second in November.

Work on the plant, on the Uruguay River between Aguas do Chapeco and Alpestre, began in March 2007 with the signing of a contract for the production, delivery, and assembly supervision of the four 213.75 MW generator units. Alstom is responsible for all plant equipment, including turbines, generators, hydromechanical equipment, transformers, voltage elevators, plant control and protection systems, and all auxiliary mechanical and electrical systems. Alstom is part of an engineering, procurement, and construction consortium with Camargo Correa and CNEC Worley Parsons.

When completed in February 2011, the plant will have an average of 432 MW of assured energy, enough to supply 25% of all power needs in the state of Santa Catarina or about 18% in Rio Grande do Sul.


IDB to help fund upgrade of Simon Bolivar

Venezuela will increase power output from its largest hydro complex by 795 MW through a modernization program financed with a $700 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the bank reported.

The project will replace six of the 20 turbine-generator units at the 10,300 MW Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric Plant, also known as Guri. Currently the world’s third largest hydroelectric complex, Guri supplies nearly 45% of Venezuela’s total electricity demand.

The project, part of the Venezuelan government’s broader Guri Modernization Program, consists of replacing rotors, regulators, generators, and related equipment and upgrading high-voltage switchyards and control systems.

When concluded in 2016, the project will enable Guri to offer 795 MW of additional capacity, equivalent to more than 3% of Venezuela’s total generating capacity. It will also extend the plant’s service life by about 25 years.

Venezuela will contribute $609 million in counterpart funds to the project, whose total cost will be around $1.3 billion. The IDB loan is for 20 years, with a six-year grace period and an interest rate based on the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).

Eskom to use loan to fund pumped-storage plant

South Africa’s government said it will invest ZAR20 billion (US$2.9 billion) into Eskom Holdings Ltd. to help the South Africa utility fund increased power generating capacity, Bloomberg reported.

The loan will fund new power projects, including a pumped-storage hydro plant, wire reports indicate. Eskom said the loan would help develop a pumped-storage hydroelectric project and two coal-fired stations.

The loan will help fund the utility’s 12,300 MW expansion program, designed to ease power shortages that saw rolling blackouts hit the country in 2008, the reports said.

EIB to provide €140 million for Metolong Dam and Water Supply Program

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a €140 million (US$186.4 million) loan for the €282 million ($397.3 million) Metolong Dam and Water Supply Program in Lesotho.

The program is a key element in the Government of Lesotho’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. The loan encompasses Metalong Dam itself, along with related infrastructure, conveyance system, water treatment works, environmental and social management,and institutional support. EIB’s support closes the funding needed to complete the project in its entirety using a local currency and a long-term loan, which is well-suited to the project’s long economic life, EIB said.

To be built on the Phuthitsana River near Metolong, Lesotho, Metolong Dam is a Lesotho Lowlands Water Supply project that is to supply domestic and industrial water to six lowland districts of Lesotho.


Uganda developing 700 MW Karuma

Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development is working to construct the long-proposed US$1.2 billion Karuma project. Although the project originally was planned to be 250 MW, the government initiated design of an enlarged version of 600 to 700 MW.

A feasibility study is expected to be completed by the end of 2010, with construction to begin in early 2011. The project is to include an underground powerhouse containing five turbine-generators, located 80 km downstream from Lake Kyoga.

Work is to include planning and engineering; civil construction, including supply of equipment and materials; and design, manufacturing, supply, installation, training, testing, and commissioning of equipment.

Uganda Electricity Generation Co. Ltd. will be the government agency acting as project licensee. It will hold government participating interest in the investment in case of a joint venture or public-private partnership arrangement.

Hydro activity in Turkey

Norwegian power company Statkraft plans to construct a 102 MW hydropower plant in Turkey.

The Kargi plant will be in the Corum province, northeast of the capital of Ankara. The plant, scheduled for completion in 2013, will utilize a part of Turkey’s longest river, the Kizilirmak, which runs into the Black Sea.

The investment in Kargi is expected to amount to about €250 million (US$341 million).

In other news, Turkish hydropower developer EnerjiSA Enerji Uretim A.S. plans to build the 81.3 MW Yamanli 2 hydroelectric project on the Goksu River.

EnerjiSA, a joint venture of Turkish conglomerate Sabanci Holding and Austrian utility Verbund, received a €865 million (US$1.3 billion) credit in 2008 from the World Bank’s International Finance Corp., Turkish commercial bank Akbank, and European commercial bank WestLB, headquartered in Germany. The funding is for 10 hydro plants, including Yamanli 2, and a gas-fired power plant in Turkey.

The Yamanli 2 project includes a 14,800 meter-long, 3.5 meter-diameter power tunnel; concrete weir; inlet structure; powerhouse; fish passage; and other structures. The work is to be completed in 40 months.

Companies cooperate to build Wuyue pumped-storage project in China

China Hydroelectric Corp. has signed a framework agreement with China Guangdong Nuclear Energy Development Co. for the equity transfer of a controlling interest of the Wuyue Pumped-Storage Power Generation Co. Ltd.

China Hydroelectric currently holds a 79% equity interest in Wuyue Company, which owns the right to develop a 1,000 MW pumped-storage project in Xinyang, Henan Province, China.

Under the agreement, subject to the completion of definitive documents, completion of due diligence, and receipt of governmental and other approvals, China Hydroelectric will transfer a 51% equity interest in Wuyue Co. to Guangdong Nuclear. In exchange, Guangdong Nuclear will agree to fund its proportionate share of the ongoing development costs of the project.

The Wuyue project will be used to supply renewable peaking power capacity to Guangshan County. The construction timeline would span about six years once groundbreaking occurs.

Argentine hydro plant given permission to proceed

Argentina’s federal government has signed a contract with authorities in Neuquen province, giving the go-ahead for the 640 MW Chihuido I plant, news agencies report.

The contract was pre-awarded to a temporary business union consisting of firms Electroingenieria, Constructora OAS, and Hidrocuyo in June 2010. The companies must cover 30% of the construction costs, with the national government and Brazilian development bank BNDES providing the rest, Business News Americas reported.

The Chihuido I project involves the construction of a dam across the Neuquen River and a hydro plant with four turbines. A lake will then be constructed behind the dam. A 130 km-long transmission line will connect the facility to the national grid.

Authorities estimate a four-year construction period, with the consortium holding the contract for a 15-year term, according to the wire reports.

Government consent awarded for Scottish pumped-storage plant

SSE Generation Ltd., the wholly owned generation business of Scottish and Southern Energy, has received consent from the Scottish Government to develop a new 60 MW pumped-storage project at its existing Sloy power station at Loch Lomond.

Sloy, commissioned in 1950, is the largest conventional hydro station in the UK and was the first scheme built by the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board (NoSHEB). The construction of a new pumping station will enable SSE to provide an additional 100 GWh of electricity in a typical year to help meet peak demand.

The new pumping station will use Loch Lomond as the lower reservoir and Loch Sloy as the upper reservoir.

Rumakali hydro plant to be built in Tanzania

The government of Tanzania has signed a deal with Russia-based Borodino for the construction of the US$700 million Rumakali plant in Tanzania’s Iringa region, news agencies have reported.

Construction of the 222 MW hydropower station will begin by 2013, and the plant is expected to come on line by 2018, according to the reports.

Power from the plant will be sold to state-owned power utility the Tanzania Electric Supply Co., known as Tanesco.

Portugal developing Salamonde 2 pumped-storage project

Portugal utility Energias de Portugal (EDP) is working to build the 207 MW Salamonde 2 pumped-storage project on the Cavado River.

EDP is building the underground pumped-storage plant at Salamonde Dam, near the existing 42-MW Salamonde project, which has been operating since 1953. The utility awarded a civil works construction contract to the consortium Texeira Duarte/Epos/Seth.

In addition to its generation, the €200 million (US$284 million) Salamonde 2 project is designed to allow better management of the Cavado-Rabagao hydroelectric system. It is one of 11 projects in EDP’s waterpower plan, which foresees investments of €3 billion ($4.2 billion) by the end of the decade.

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