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Andritz VA Tech Hydro to equip Laos' 280-MW Theun-Hinboun Expansion

Theun-Hinboun Power Co. Ltd. (THPC) has awarded an 85 million euro (US$113.5 million) contract to Andritz VA Tech Hydro to equip the 280-MW Theun-Hinboun Expansion project on Laos' Nam Theun River.

THPC is expanding the 210-MW Theun-Hinboun hydroelectric project in Khammouan Province, which was completed in 1998 with VA Tech Hydro equipment. THPC named Sweco of Sweden owners engineer earlier this year. (HNN 9/23/08)

The expansion project includes a 220-MW addition to the Theun-Hinboun power station, plus a new 60-MW Nam Gnouang hydropower plant, a six-kilometer headrace tunnel, and a new 70-meter-tall roller-compacted-concrete dam on the Nam Gnouang River, a tributary of the Nam Theun.

Andritz VA Tech Hydro is to supply, install, and commission equipment for both the expanded powerhouse and the new plant, including three Francis turbine-generators, governing systems, automation and protection, main inlet valve, auxiliary systems, and switchyard equipment.

The expansion is to begin commercial operation in June 2012, generating more than 3,000 gigawatt-hours annually.

The new dam, 20 kilometers upstream from the existing Theun-Hinboun Dam, is to create a reservoir to regulate river flows into the Theun-Hinboun headpond, increasing power output in the dry season. The expansion also includes a 900-meter penstock and transmission line.

The Lao government is the largest investor in the US$500 million plant with a 60 percent stake by Electricite du Laos in THPC, which is developing the project. GMS Power, a subsidiary of Thailand's M.D.X. Co. Ltd., has a 20 percent stake and Nordic Hydropower, a partnership of Swedish and Norwegian state-owned utilities Vattenfall and Statkraft, owns the rest.

Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) signed a memorandum of understanding with THPC for supply of power from 2012. State-owned EGAT is to pay an average price of 1.82 baht (5 US cents) per unit for 30 years from 2012.

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