A US$103 million contract awarded to Voith Hydro for the modernization of Brazil's Agua Vermelha hydropower plant is one of the largest such awards in the country's history, HydroWorld.com has learned.
The 1,396-MW hydroelectric plant, located along the River Grande near Iturama, is owned by Brazilian utility AES Tiete S.A.
Voith says it will overhaul Agua Vermelha's generators and turbines, as well as the associated electromechanical systems.
Agua Vermelha began operations in 1978 and relies on six Francis-turbines for its hydroelectric generation.
"In Brazil, we see an increasing trend toward modernizations in the hydropower business," says Roland Munch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Voith Hydro. "After decades of operation, many operating companies are now upgrading their fleets."
Munch says many companies are now upgrading and rehabilitating existing generating facilities instead of constructing new ones.
"This is a trend similar to the one we have seen in other markets like in the United States or Europe," Munch says.
Voith's announcement is concurrent with HydroVision Brasil 2012, which is taking place in Rio de Janeiro this week.