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TransAlta selects Lignum Vitae for Horseshoe hydropower plant bearings

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Lignum Vitae North America has been awarded a contract to provide a water-lubricated thrust bearing for the 14-MW Horseshoe hydropower plant in Alberta.

The company said its product was chosen due to its ability to provide maximum uptime while lowering maintenance costs, noting that lignum vitae -- a wood obtained primarily from the Guiacum officinale and Guiacum sanctum trees -- was the bearing material of choice at the Horseshoe project since it was completed in 1911.

"No other water-lubricated bearing has the legacy of success as lignum vitae, and as we convert other plants back to lignum vitae, we are excited about how much we reduce the cost of maintenance for plant owners and operators worldwide," the company said in a release.

The Horseshoe complex is operated by the TransAlta Corporation and is located on the Bow River in southern Alberta. The historic plant celebrated its centennial in 2011, when it was inducted into Hydro Hall of Fame.

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