A joint venture between Alstom and Brazilian firm Bardella has inaugurated a facility in Brazil's Amazon that will produce equipment for regional hydropower projects.
The facility can support hydropower projects in northern Brazil, plants that will be built in Peru and proposed projects in Bolivia, Ecuador and Central America.
Currently, the plant is producing floodgates and other equipment for the Santo Antonio hydro plant.
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IMMA - Mechanical and Metallurgical Industry of the Amazon - a joint venture formed by Alstom and Bardella, a leading Brazilian provider of equipment for the industries of metallurgy, energy, oil and gas, is being inaugurated today in Porto Velho, in the State of Rondonia (north of Brazil), in the presence of Brazilian authorities and Alstom and Bardella executives.
The unit will be responsible for production of power equipment to Santo Antonio power plant, in Madeira river, Brazil. Investment in the plant is approximately EUR37 million and 400 jobs are created.
IMMA is Alstom’s fourth unit in Brazil. Other Alstom facilities in the country are a hydropower unit in Taubate, a rail transport plant and headquarters located in Sao Paulo with engineering and platform tests for Transport and Power Sectors. Recently, the company announced the construction of its first wind power plant equipment in Brazil, which will be located in the State of Bahia and is planned to open in the first half of 2011. Porto Velho is Bardella’s third unit. The company already has plants in Guarulhos and Sorocaba (State of Sao Paulo), where engineering department and R&D center are located as well.
The new factory has been located close to the regional power plants, such as Santo Antonio in Madeira river, to which it will provide mechanical equipment. Thanks to this location, the facility will also support other hydropower projects in northern Brazil, the plants that will be built in Peru and possible projects in Bolivia, Ecuador and Central America.
IMMA operates now with 90% of its installed capacity on 33,000 square meters of built area. It is equipped with machine tools, cutting area, boiler, welding, machining, mechanical assembly, jet blasting and painting. It is capable to produce 12,000 tons of equipment per year, representing 50,000 hours of work per month.
Currently, the plant is already producing floodgates, cofferdams and cranes of the powerhouse of Santo Antonio hydro plant and, during this month, IMMA will deliver the first structural beams of the main overhead crane (250 tons) for its powerhouse.
Philippe Joubert, President of Alstom Power, points out that developing countries are in the spotlight of the big companies. "Brazil is the most promising market in Latin America and our investment will not stop here. In addition to intensive work with plants, we are also investing in wind power plants and alternatives to supplement energy requirements."
"The opening of IMMA represents the beginning of a new chapter in economic history of Brazil. After a long period without large investments, the state of Rondonia is in full expansion phase, which increases the potential for new markets. In addition, the plant led to the formation of the workforce of the local population, through the Guapore Project. This means that Alstom confirms its interest and confidence in the market, " said Marcos Costa, head of Alstom Power Brazil and Latin America.
According to Jose Roberto Mendes da Silva, President of Bardella Group, “a new frontier for the development of the Brazil’s northern region has been opened and it will bring strong benefits for the companies, through the potential business opportunities in the area, as well as for the local community, which will be able to grow side-by-side with IMMA in a outstanding economic scenario”.