Austria utilities plan two small hydros on Mur River

Two Austrian utilities have announced plans to build two new hydroelectric projects on the Mur River totaling 20.9 MW. Verbund Austrian Hydro Power AG and Steweag-Steg, a subsidiary of regional utility Energie Steiermark, said July 2 they would cooperate to build the 9.5-MW Gratkorn and 11.4-MW Stubing hydropower projects on the Mur north of Graz. The projects are expected to require a total investment of about 100 million euros (US$157 million). Following approvals, construction of Gratkorn is expected to begin in 2010, followed by Stubing in 2012. Each project is expected to require 2.5 years to build. "The use of waterpower on the Mur for power production has a long tradition," Energie Steiermark Director Franz Kailbauer told a news conference. "With the new power stations in Gratkorn and in Stubing, a substantial contribution is to be made for the energy independence of Steiermark." Director Michael Amerer of Verbund Austrian Hydro Power added that the hydro plants will not produce carbon dioxide, which signatory nations of the Kyoto Protocol seek to limit. "The intensified use of waterpower represents the best contribution of Austria for reaching the Kyoto goal," Amerer said. Gratkorn is expected to generate 49.5 gigawatt-hours per year while displacing production of 37,000 tons of carbon dioxide. Stubing is to generate 55.9 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. (HNN 4/24/08) Other plants on the Mur include 14.5-MW Gabersdorf (HNN 6/12/08), 19.2-MW Pernegg (HNN 4/24/08), and 14.5-MW Gralla. (HNN 10/9/07)

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