Small Hydro

Chile developer to offer small hydro to locals

The developer of the proposed 2,750-mw Aysen hydroelectric complex proposes building six small hydro plants to provide cheap electricity and jobs to Chile’s isolated Aysen Region.

Developer Centrales Hidroelectricas de Aysen S.A. (HidroAysen), a joint venture of electricity generators Endesa Chile and Colbun, said the proposal would fulfill a commitment to reduce electricity costs to the host region by the maximum amount possible.

HidroAysen General Manager Hernan Salazar said the company proposes investing US$85 million to build or upgrade six small hydropower plants totaling 26 mw to provide inexpensive electricity.

Salazar said HidroAysen would act as power producer for the plants, without taking part in transmission or distribution. Most of the electricity would be supplied to residential customers, with less than 5 percent going to small companies.

The proposed plants are:

  • 1-mw General Carrera;
  • 550-kw Melinka;
  • 24-mw Puerto Aysen, combining two 12-mw powerhouses; and
  • 1-MW Puerto Cisnes.

In addition, HidroAysen would add 200 kw to the existing Caleta Tortel plant and rehabilitate the 100-kw Lago Verde plant.

Latin bank funds Colombia’s Guanaquitas, Caruquia

The Inter-American Investment Corp. (IIC) approved US$15.5 million in loans for construction of the 9.8-mw Guanaquitas and 9.5-mw Caruquia hydroelectric projects in Colombia’s Guadalupe River Basin.

IIC, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, approved a loan of US$7.85 million to operating company Guanaquitas S.A. and a US$7.65 million loan to Caruquia Informacion S.A.

The two companies are to build Guanaquitas and Caruquia in the municipality of Santa Rosa de Osos in Antioquia Province. The run-of-river projects are to generate 124 gigawatt-hours annually.

The World Bank’s International Finance Corp. (IFC) said the projects are expected to begin operation in late 2009 and early 2010.

Sponsoring the projects is Century Energy Corp., a Panama-based subsidiary of Colombia’s Helm Group, IFC says. The project operating companies are to enter engineering-procurement-construction contracts with HMV Ingenieros, which also is wholly owned by the Helms Group.

Austria utilities to build small hydros on Mur River

Two Austrian utilities plan to build two new hydroelectric projects on the Mur River totaling 21 mw.

Verbund Austrian Hydro Power AG and Steweag-Steg, a subsidiary of regional utility Energie Steiermark, said they would cooperate to build the 9.5-mw Gratkorn and 11.4-mw Stubing projects on the Mur north of Graz.

The projects are expected to cost about 100 million euros (US$157 million). Following approvals, construction of Gratkorn is expected to begin in 2010, followed by Stubing in 2012. The companies estimate each project can be built in about two years.

Gratkorn is expected to generate about 50 gigawatt-hours (gwh) per year while displacing production of 37,000 tons of carbon dioxide. Stubing is to generate 56 gwh per year, displacing 42,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

The utilities already are building two other hydro projects on the Mur, 18-mw Gossendorf and 18-mw Kalsdorf.

Tanzania signs funding deal for 8-mw Malagarasi

Tanzania Electric Supply Co. (TANESCO) signed a five-year agreement worth US$206.5 million for development of the 8-mw Malagarasi hydroelectric project and improvement of electricity transmission and distribution.

The agreement, reported by local media, is between the state-owned utility and U.S.-based Millennium Challenge Corp., part of a US$698 million grant that the presidents of Tanzania and United States approved in February.

Local media reported the money would be disbursed beginning in October and would go toward developing the hydroelectric project on the Malagarasi River as well as transmission and distribution systems in five regions in mainland Tanzania.

India firm to build 6-mw Kaliganga 2

Srinivasa Constructions Ltd. is designing, supplying, and installing civil works components for the 6- mw Kaliganga 2 project in the Rudraprayag District of India’s Uttarakhand State. Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd., formerly Uttaranchal Jal Vidyut Nigam (UJVNL), issued the US$4.3 million construction contract.

Kaliganga 2 was one of four projects tendered by UJVNL under the Uttaranchal Power Sector Investment Project, backed by US$300 million from the Asian Development Bank.

Hydro Tasmania to redevelop 8.5-mw Lake Margaret project

The board of Australian utility Hydro Tasmania approved redevelopment of the 8.5-mw Lake Margaret hydroelectric project, idled since 2006 by risk of a pipeline failure.

The utility seeks planning and works approval from the West Coast and Tasmanian Heritage councils prior to naming contractors. Subject to approvals, the redevelopment is expected to be complete in 2009 at a cost of A$14.7 million (US$14 million).

The Lake Margaret plant, built in 1914 on the King River, was closed in June 2006 as a result of concerns about the safety of its woodstave pipeline.

Redevelopment is to include maintenance and upgrade of the dam, replacement of the woodstave pipeline, modification of a hilltop valve, reinstatement of a walking track and a haulage way, replacement of a transformer, construction of a visitor access gallery, and modifications to enable safe unattended project operation.

Refurbishment planned for Angola’s Luachimo

Russian diamond miner Alrosa plans to rehabilitate the 9-mw Luachimo hydroelectric project, adding 13 mw.

Alrosa plans to carry out concrete work and to install new technology in the hydro plant in eastern Luanda Norte Province, state-run Angola Press reported.

The four-unit plant began operation in 1953.

Alrosa Technical Director Alexandre Guertchikov said feasibility studies call for rehabilitation in two phases, totaling three years.

Greenko acquires four hydro projects

Indian renewable energy producer Greenko Group Plc. is acquiring concessions to develop four hydroelectric projects in India’s Karnataka State totaling 44 mw.

Greenko signed a contract to acquire the 10.5-mw Sonna, 16-mw Kallur, and 16-mw Joladadagi projects on the Bhima River in northeastern Karnataka and the 2-mw Dinnekere project in southwestern Karnataka.

The company said the new assets would increase its capacity under development to 146 mw.

Greenko said Sonna already is under construction, with commissioning expected in the first quarter of 2009. It is to sell power to the Karnataka grid under a long-term contract and generate 23,500 tons of carbon emission reduction (CER) units annually.

Greenko acquired licenses of the Kallur, Joladadagi, and Dinnekere projects. Project work is expected after financial closure, with commissioning of the projects in the second quarter of 2010. Greenko said it expects to sell their power through an agreement with power trading companies or direct to industrial consumers. It said Kallur and Joladadagi are expected to generate 31,396 tons of CER units each.

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