Genesis Energy to acquire Meridian plants
New Zealand's Meridian Energy has moved a step closer in the process of selling two of its South Island hydroelectric stations. Meridian is selling the Tekapo A and B stations on the Waitaki Power Scheme to Genesis Energy.
The government recently confirmed in May 2011 that it wants Meridian to proceed with the sale, which was due to take effect in June, as HRW goes to press. The sale is part of a package of government reforms aimed at improving the electricity sector.
Tekapo A and B are the first two of eight hydro stations that make up the Waitaki Power Scheme. Meridian will continue to own and operate the remaining six stations.
The two state-owned companies will work to an agreement that allows both to use the water flowing through the interconnected lakes and canals to generate electricity until 2025.
Voith Fuji Hydro to take over Ebara's hydro turbine business
Japan-based Voith Fuji Hydro K.K. and Ebara Corp. have agreed on the transfer of Ebara's hydro turbine business to Voith Fuji Hydro, a joint venture of Fuji Electric and German Voith Hydro, starting June 1, 2011.
Ebara, a publicly-listed corporation with 14,000 employees worldwide, aims to further grow its core competencies, with specific focus on pumps and compressors.
Poyry to acquire elements of Vattenfall engineering consultancy
Finland's Poyry consultancy firm has agreed to acquire elements of Sweden-based Vattenfall's consultancy business, currently known as Vattenfall Power Consultant AB.
The engineering consultancy — focusing on hydropower, wind power, power networks and thermal power — will be incorporated into a newly-established company in Sweden to be called SwedPower AB.
SwedPower AB will provide advisory, engineering and project management services to clients pursuing projects in the fields of hydro, wind generation, thermal power and power networks.
The transaction is conditional on completion of a due diligence process, an agreement on transitional services and the final approvals of the boards of directors of Poyry and Vattenfall. Completion is expected to take place by the end of June 2011 as HRW goes to press.
Vale to buy stake in Belo Monte in Brazil
Brazil-based mining giant Vale S.A. has approved a plan to buy a stake in the 11,200 MW Belo Monte project in Brazil's Amazon.
Under the plan, Vale agreed to buy up to 9% of Norte Energia S.A., the consortium that runs Belo Monte.
Vale is buying out the stake in the Belo Monte project held by Brazil's Bertin Group, known mainly as an agriculture concern, The Wall Street Journal reports. Vale expects to pump about BRL2.3 billion (US$1.5 billion) into Belo Monte.
The Belo Monte project is to be built in Para state on the Xingu River. In March, earth moving works began at the site of the dam and hydro project.
EDF continues rehab at 97 MW Nentilla
Electricite de France (EDF) is continuing its rehabilitation of the 97 MW Nentilla project on the Aude River in Aude Department by installing eight injector bodies.
EDF took bids in 2009 for refurbishment of a penstock at Nentilla. The utility now seeks eight injector bodies for Pelton turbines 1 and 2. Work is to include design of the new injectors from site surveys and old parts, their manufacture from cast steel, their installation and testing.
Guatemala utility issues energy supply tender rules including hydro
Empresa Electrica de Guatemala S.A. (EEGSA) has issued a call for electricity supply, saying it seeks 800 MW from 2015-2030, with 60% of that to come from renewables.
EEGSA said its solicitation is to supply electricity distributors that agreed to aggregate their capacity and energy needs to increase the number of potential investors, take advantage of domestic renewable energy sources and use more efficient technologies for energy production.
Guatemala seeks to generate 60% of its electricity from renewables by 2022, with more than 57% of that to come from hydropower. That compares to 36% of its electricity provided by hydro in 2009.
EEGSA seeks 480 MW to be provided by renewables, with the remaining 320 MW to come from non-renewables. It also wants 480 MW to be provided by new projects while 320 MW is supplied by plants already in operation. Delivery of power is to begin in May 2015.
Rehab for Meuse River's 22 MW Lixhe
Belgium utility SPE N.V. plans to seek replacement turbine-generators for the 22 MW Lixhe project on the Meuse River in southern Belgium.
The utility operates seven low-head hydro projects totaling 65 MW. Six are on the Meuse: Lixhe, Ivoz-Ramet, Monsin, Ampsin-Neuville, Andenne, and Grand-Malades. The seventh, Floriffoux, is on the Sambre River.
SPE said Lixhe, which was built in 1980, requires rehabilitation. It has four horizontal-axis Straflo units with 3.55 meter-diameter axial propeller runners.
The utility seeks replacement of two units, with an option to replace the other two, within the existing civil works to be modified "in a reasonable way." Scope is to include design, supply, installation and commissioning with anchoring pieces, governor, generator with excitation cabinet and cooling, lubrication oil system common or separate for turbine and generator, instrumentation and control cabinet.
Voith wins contracts in Germany, China
Germany's Rheinkraftwerk Sackingen AG has awarded Voith Hydro a contract for refurbishment of four turbines of the 73.6 MW Sackingen project on the Rhine River.
The operator seeks disassembly and complete refurbishment of the four 18.4 MW Kaplan turbines. Work includes renewal of all wearing parts, machine automation, governors, static excitation and protection equipment. One unit per year is to be renovated from October 2011 through August 2015.
The Sackingen plant is one of several undergoing rehabilitation in the Rhine system.
In addition, Voith Hydro has signed contracts with two China-based utilities to supply equipment for their hydro projects. The overall value of both contracts is about €40 million (US$56.6 million).
For the extension of Da Tang YanTan Hydro Power Co.'s Yan Tan project, on the Hongshui River in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Voith Hydro will supply the generators for two 340 MW units. Huanghe Hydro Power Development Company is building the Yang Qu plant on the Yellow River and selected Voith Hydro to supply three 400 MW Francis turbines.
Croatia-based firm to overhaul Haditha plant in Iraq
Ingra d.d., a Croatia-based construction and engineering company, has signed an US$8.26 million contract to overhaul the six-unit Haditha plant in Iraq, wire services report.
The contracted works include rehabilitation of turbines, generators and other equipment. Rehab at the 660 MW Haditha plant will be completed in two years, the Zagreb-based company reports. Ingra built Haditha in the 1980s.
Himachal Pradesh contracts
Himachal Pradesh Power Corp. Ltd (HPPC) India says it has awarded nearly US$188 million in contracts to support development of hydropower assets under the Himachal Pradesh Clean Energy Development Investment Program.
India is setting up four run-of-river projects totaling 856 MW in the state of Himachal Pradesh, with funding of about US$800 million coming from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
HPPC awarded two contracts, of $31.46 million and $3.71 million, to Andritz Hydro Private Ltd. India for electromechanical equipment (three 65 MW turbine-generators) for the 195 MW Kashang project stages 1-3 on the Kashang River in Kinnaur District. And, HPPC awarded a $56.39 million contract to Patel Engineering Ltd. to build Stage 2 and 3 of the Kashang Link Tunnel.
In addition, HPPC awarded a $96.3 million contract to Hindustan Construction Co. Ltd. for civil works construction of 100 MW Sainj project on India's Sainj River.
In other hydro news in India, Alstom has inaugurated a hydro bearing factory in Vadodara in the state of Gujarat. The factory will manufacture bearings for medium to large hydro projects, including large turbine and generator thrust bearings, guide bearings and shaft seals.
With an area of more than 6,150 m2, the new site will employ about 200 people. It is expected to reach a full production capacity of 40 sets of bearings and shaft seals per year by 2013.
Peru equipment order for Cheves project
ABB has won an order to provide power equipment and engineering for the 168 MW Cheves plant in Peru, it says.
The company will provide engineering and power equipment to Empresa de Generacion Electrica Cheves S.A., which is 100% owned by SN Power of Norway. Cheves is in the provinces of Oyon and Huaura.
Scheduled for completion by November 2013, the project will be executed by a consortium led by ABB Canada with Rainpower from Norway and Jeumont from France. The consortium will provide a water-to-wire solution for the plant. ABB is providing the electrical balance of plant systems, including GIS substation, generator breakers, medium- and low-voltage switchgear, step-up transformers, plant controls, protection system and other electrical auxiliaries. Rainpower will supply the turbine and Juemont the generator. The consortium's scope includes installation and commissioning of equipment.
Rainpower to upgrade Ratan project in Sweden
Rainpower Kristinehamn AB has been commissioned by E.ON to replace the governor system in the Ratan station in Sweden.
The US$825,000 contract involves the delivery of complete hydraulic governor systems and new electronic regulators. Ratan was built in 1968 on the Ljungan River in the Berg district of Jamtland. The station has two generators with a capacity of 60 MW.
IMPSA to rehab Tenom Pangi plant in Malaysia
Argentine firm IMPSA has signed a US$13 million contract with Malaysian TNB Repair and Maintenance Sdn. Bhd. REMACO — a subsidiary of TNB — is to rehabilitate the Tenom Pangi plant on the Padas River in Sabah, Malaysia.
IMPSA's scope of supply includes the engineering, hydraulic model, three new Francis runners and other turbine-related components. The company also will supply the new control system, protection systems and ancillary equipment. Furthermore, IMPSA will supervise plant erection and startup. The project is scheduled to be completed in 38 months.
Contracts awarded for two Panama projects
Mavel Americas Inc. has received contracts to supply equipment for the Las Perlas Norte and Las Perlas Sur projects in Panama.
The two projects, on the Piedra River in the Chiriqui Province of Panama, are run-of-river facilities. Each plant will use two Mavel horizontal Francis turbines and have total installed capacity of 10 MW. The projects are owned by Las Perlas Nortes S.A. and Las Perlas Sur S.A.
Mavel's supply includes inlet valves, turbines, generators with fly wheels, hydraulic pressure and lubrication units, plant control and switchgear, and supervision of installation, testing and commissioning.
The company has worked with the owners' engineering firm Bogota, Colombia-based Ingetec S.A., with two Czech companies as major sub-suppliers. The generators will be provided by TES Vsetin and the plant controls and switchgear by INGOS.
Commissioning of both plants is expected in the third quarter of 2012.
Alstom to modernize Kubansky Cascade
The Russian United Energy-Construction Corp., Alstom Hydro France and Alstom Russia have signed an agreement with RusHydro to modernize the Kubansky Cascade hydropower plants in Russia. The agreement follows a strategic cooperation agreement signed between Alstom and RusHydro in December 2010.
Alstom will carry out the rehabilitation of electro- and hydromechanical equipment and install a new instrumentation and control system. Its partner OEK will be responsible for all civil works.
The Kubansky Cascade, on the Kuban River, includes nine plants with a total capacity of more than 460 MW. The modernization by Alstom could ensure a capacity increase of 10% to 20%.
A feasibility study will define the necessary work to be performed and the rehab project may take six to 10 years.
Part of the equipment to modernize the plants could be provided by the joint manufacturing facility to be built by RusHydro and Alstom in Ufa City, in the Republic of Bashkortostan.
The factory will be oriented to production of generating equipment for small and medium and pumped-storage plants, as well as equipment for distributed control systems, condition monitoring, excitation for hydro generators and integrated site security systems.
Second unit at Son La connected to grid
The second of six 400 MW turbines at Southeast Asia's largest hydro station, Son La in Vietnam, has begun operating. The first turbine was connected to the national power grid in 2010.
Located in the mountainous northern Son La province, the Son La project is in Muong La district. The US$2 billion, 2,400 MW plant is expected to be fully operational by 2012, three years ahead of the target set by the National Assembly. Construction began in December 2005.
The second generator is expected to help reduce power shortages during the dry season by supplying at least 1,100 GWh annually.
In other local news, Cavico Corp. announces that its subsidiary, Cavico Bridge and Tunnel, has broken through the final section of tunnel at the 170 MW A Luoi project. This tunnel is 14 kilometers long and 6.5 meters wide.
The A Luoi plant, on the A Sap River in central Vietnam, is owned by Central Hydropower Joint Stock Co., a Vietnam-based company.
Turkish hydropower plant inaugurated
Alstom and Sanko, a Turkish industrial holding company, have inaugurated the 320 MW Yedigoze plant.
The plant, on Turkey's Seyhan River, is part of Sanko's program to build additional renewable energy capacity, in line with the government's push to improve Turkey's energy security by increasing its share of renewable energy. The government has called for the mobilization of local power generation to reduce Turkey's dependence on imported fuels, which currently account for 60% of the country's power generation.
In 2008, Sanko awarded Alstom the contract for the turnkey supply and commissioning of Yedigoze's two 160 MW Francis turbines and two 175 MVA generators, as well as all auxiliary equipment.
Mpanga project commissioned in Uganda
The 18 MW Mpanga project in Kamwenge District, Uganda, is now operational, news agencies report.
Located at the Mpanga Falls on the Mpanga River, the project is being developed by Africa Energy Management Systems. Construction of the US$13 million project began in 2007 under the funding of South Asian Energy System contracted by Sri Lankan-based NGO VSHYDRO, media reports indicate.
EIB seeks due diligence for new China hydro energy projects
The European Investment Bank (EIB) says it plans to hire consultants to help perform due diligence on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, including small hydropower, in China.
EIB has provided Climate Change Framework Loans to China for renewables including small hydro, wind, biomass, solar and geothermal sources, as well as for energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction projects. China said in 2009 it would develop 10 small hydro projects in Hubei Province with EIB funding.
EIB plans to award up to three framework agreements worth a total of €1.5 million (US$2.17 million) over four years. Work is to include project screening and appraisal, assistance in developing procurement plans and tender documents, help in fulfilling EIB requirements and providing Clean Development Mechanism advice.
Russian firm plans Tanzania investment
Power and construction company Zarubezhstroy Corporation, or ZARS, reportedly plans to invest US$700 million in what could be the largest independent hydro project in Tanzania.
ZARS is set to embark on a five-year venture to construct a plant in Rumakali in the Iringa Region. A ZARS official apparently disclosed the plan during the Ninth African Investment Forum in Dar es Salaam.
The project will initially have a capacity of 222 MW, to be fed directly into the national grid, and could eventually have a capacity of more than 460 MW. When completed, the project is expected to cover 20% to 25% of Tanzania's hydropower needs, Dow Jones reports.
The Russian firm also produces and supplies equipment to electricity ventures across the globe.
Vietnam Development Bank to provide loan for Lai Chau project
The Vietnam Development Bank will provide a loan of US$219 million for construction of the 1,200 MW Lai Chau plant in Vietnam, media reports indicate.
The loan will be used for migration, resettlement and the manufacture of hydraulic machines for the plant, which is being developed by state-owned electric utility Electricity of Vietnam (EVN).
A groundbreaking ceremony was conducted in January 2011 for the US$1.8 billion Lai Chau project in Nam Hang Commune in Lai Chau Province. The plant is expected to start generating electricity in 2017.
Indonesian pumped-storage project secures World Bank funding
The World Bank has approved a US$640 million loan to assist with development of the 1,040 MW Upper Cisokan pumped-storage project in Indonesia.
Construction of the project, to be built near Bandung, West Java, is expected to be completed in 2016 at a total cost of US$800 million. Indonesia's state-owned electricity company, PLN, will provide the remaining project cost of $160 million. The Upper Cisokan project includes construction of a dam and hydro plant at the catchment of the Upper Cisokan River.
Two plants moving forward in Chile
Construction of GDF Suez' 35 MW Laja run-of-river plant in Chile is on track, with a projected on line date due in 2012, according to company officials.
Costs of the project are expected to hit US$112 million, with the European Investment Bank extending about $84 million. The facility will be managed by GDF Suez subsidiary Eolica Monte Redondo.
In related news, Chilean environmental regulators have given the green light to the $3.5 billion HidroAysen project, wire services report. Regulators approved the project in a vote broadcast live on television. HidroAysen, a joint venture between Endesa Chile and Colbun, comprises five stations with a capacity of 2,750 MW created by damming two rivers.
Luz del Sur to start construction of 98 MW plant in 2011
Peruvian distributor Luz del Sur reportedly plans to begin building its 98 MW Santa Teresa plant during 2011.
Peru's state agency for promoting private investment, ProInversion, awarded the contract for construction of the run-of-river plant to Luz del Sur in 2010.
Under the terms of the contract, state power firm Emgesa will receive 15% of all energy generated from the project, Business News Americas reports.
Work advances on two projects in Ecuador
Commercial operation of Ecuadorian state generator Elecaustro's 26 MW Ocana project is expected to begin in October, a company official reportedly told wire services.
Ocana will use water from the Canar River in Canar Province and is expected to produce 203 GWh/year. Construction began in 2008.
In addition, Ecuador's investment agency plans to hire consultants to perform studies and design of the Puma multipurpose water project, including a feasibility study of a hydro project.
Instituto Nacional de Preinversion seeks an updated pre-feasibility study, a feasibility study and definitive design of the irrigation and drinking water project on seven rivers in the Santiago River Basin of Ecuador's Azuay and Canar provinces. Also included in the work is a feasibility study of the hydroelectric generation component of the project.
FMHL to double capacity of Veytaux pumped-storage plant
Swiss firm Forces Motrices Hongrin-Leman has started work to double the generating capacity of a 240 MW pumped-storage project in Veytaux, Switzerland, wire services report.
FMHL is constructing a new underground cavern near the existing one and will install two additional pump-turbine groups with a total capacity of 240 MW.
By the end of 2014, the Veytaux facilities will have a total installed capacity of 480 MW, of which 420 MW will be used for operations and the balance held in reserve.
Enel begins Chucas project construction in Costa Rica
Enel Green Power has begun construction of the 50 MW Chucas project in Costa Rica.
The project spans the Alajuela and San Jose provinces and will generate 219 GWh annually. Chucas is due to be completed by mid-2013 and will increase Enel's capacity in the country to 105 MW. The company's current capacity in Costa Rica comes from hydro (31 MW) and wind (24 MW).
Mekong River dam decision deferred
Laos has deferred a decision on constructing the Xayaburi dam and 1,285 MW hydro project on the lower Mekong River. A meeting of officials from Laos' neighboring countries concluded the decision had to go to ministerial level, the BBC reports.
Opponents had feared Xayaburi Dam, which would be the first dam on the Mekong's lower mainstream, would open the way for as many as 10 other dams, degrading the river's fragile ecology.
Dnister pumped-storage project in Ukraine on schedule to commence operations
The second unit of Ukraine's Dnister pumped-storage project is on schedule to commence operation in 2012, media reports indicate.
According to designs, the plant will have a capacity of 2,268 MW in generating mode and 2,947 MW in pumping mode. The station will have seven identical units.
Work on Dnister, which is being built in the Chernivtsi oblast on the Dnister River, will be ongoing as more units are brought into operation. Construction on the project began in 1983. Ukraine utility OJSC UkrHydroEnergo put the first unit of the Dnister project into operation in 2010.
The overall cost of the project is UAH5.8 billion (US$720 million), previous reports indicate.
Construction nearly finished at 334 MW Simplicio in Brazil
As of May 2011, Brazil's 334 MW Simplicio hydro complex was more than 90% complete, a spokesperson for Brazilian state-run power company Eletrobras Furnas reportedly told wire services.
The BRL2.2 billion (US$1.3 billion) complex, in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, is being developed and will be operated by Furnas alone. Inauguration is slated for August 2011.
Last year, Brazilian federal development bank BNDES granted Furnas a BRL1 billion (US$631.5 million) loan for the project.
The Simplício hydro complex is part of the federal government's growth acceleration program, dubbed PAC.