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Rainpower wins Robiei hydro project equipment supply contract

Norway's Rainpower ASA has signed a contract with Swiss hydropower generator Officine Idroelettriche della Maggia SA for the delivery of equipment to the Robiei pumped-storage hydro plant, Rainpower announced.

The scope of supply includes both pump turbines and a Francis turbine with auxiliary equipment. The value of Rainpower’s contract is NOK 140 million (about US$21.7 million).

Rainpower’s delivery will imply a complete replacement of the plant’s electromechanical equipment, mainly consisting of four reversible pump turbines with a maximum performance of 41 megawatts and one Francis turbine with maximum performance of 27 megawatts. The deliveries are complete with inlet and outlet valves and oil pressure units.

Due to the extreme variation in head range, the contract also includes model tests of two different pump turbine runners in Rainpower’s laboratories in Trondheim. The total project will be carried out in a consortium between Rainpower and Alstom Switzerland. Alstom will supply the generators/motors and the inlet valves for the pump turbines.

Recently, Alstom signed a US$123 million contract with Chilean utility Colbun to provide three turbines for the Angostura hydropower project being developed in Chile, wire services reported. As part of the contract, Alstom will provide Colbun with two 136-MW turbines and one 48-MW turbine, Business News Americas reported.

The average annual production of the Robiei power plant is 106 GWh. The original equipment was commissioned in 1970, and the components of the power station had to be transported to Robiei by a cable car with a maximum carrying capacity of 19.4 tons. This limitation had an impact on the design of the electric machines. Rotors, stators and transformers will have to be assembled on site.

Currently, Rainpower also is delivering a complete upgrade of the Bavona power plant for the same customer. This delivery consists of two twin horizontal Pelton turbines, which are among the largest of their kind in the world. The power station will be commissioned in September 2010.

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