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n PROJECT DEVELOPMENT:

Report: Large hydro still dominant among renewables

Large hydropower projects remain the world’s dominant source of renewable electricity, according to the Renewable Energy Network for the 21st Century (REN21).

REN21’s Renewables 2007 Global Status Report, released to coincide with the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC), found large hydropower provided 15 percent of the world’s power generation in 2007.

Other renewables, such as small hydropower, wind, biomass, and solar power, provided 3.4 percent of generation, while fossil fuels provided 67 percent and nuclear added 14 percent.

REN21, which was created at a 2004 international renewables conference in Bonn, Germany, defines small hydropower as projects of less than 10 mw, 30 mw, or 50 mw, depending on which country is providing the statistics.

The report said “new” renewables capacity, including small hydro, totaled 240,000 mw in 2007, while large hydro capacity totaled 770,000 mw. Investment in new renewables in 2007 totaled US$71 billion, while investment in large hydropower totaled US$15 billion to US$20 billion.

The report said new renewables grew at rates of 15 to 30 percent annually from 2002 to 2006, while other technologies, including large hydropower, grew at rates from 3 to 5 percent.

“For the power generation sector, large hydropower remains one of the lowest-cost energy technologies, although environmental constraints, resettlement impacts, and the availability of sites have limited further growth in many countries,” the report said. “Large hydro supplied 15 percent of global electricity production in 2006, down from 19 percent a decade ago.”

Large hydro grew during 2002-2006 at a global average of 3 percent per year, but less than 1 percent in developed countries. China saw the highest growth, at more than 8 percent per year during the period. China added about 6,000 mw of large hydro, plus 6,000 mw of small hydro in 2006.

The top five hydro producers in 2006 were China with 14 percent of world production, Canada and Brazil with 12 percent each, the United States with 10 percent, and Russia with 6 percent.


n REFURBISHMENT:

Swedish firm to refurbish unit of 64-mw Gulsele

Finshyttan Hydro Power AB received an order from GE Energy (Sweden) AB to renovate one turbine of 64-mw Gulsele hydroelectric project on Sweden’s Angermanalven River.

Finshyttan’s parent, Morphic Technologies of Sweden, said the order is for machining work on a Kaplan unit.


Breaking news can be found at HydroNews.net, HCI’s Internet news service. For headlines of the latest top stories in hydro, visit www.hydronews.net.


n ON-LINE REPORT:

Vietnam starts 342-mw Tuyen Quang

The first unit of the 342-mw Tuyen Quang hydroelectric project is on line, with a second to follow on the Gam River in Vietnam’s Tuyen Quang Province.

The first unit went on line in January in Na Hang District of northern Tuyen Quang. Song Da Corp. is expected to complete installation and start operation of all three turbine-generators by the end of the year, Vietnam News Agency reported.

The 7 trillion dong (US$348 million) project is to have a flood control reservoir of more than 81 square kilometers. It is to be the third largest hydroelectric project in Vietnam.

Vietnamese hydro plant and infrastructure builder Cavico Corp. received a contract to build Tuyen Quang’s dam.

Electricity of Vietnam signed a loan agreement for the project in 2003.

Citicorp, BNP Paribas, and ABN Amro agreed to provide US$120 million in credit for equipment and materials.


n CONTRACTS:

Briefly

Tehri Hydro Development Corp. Ltd. (THDC) awarded a US$172,242 contract to DHI Water, Environment & Health of Denmark to conduct sediment handling studies for the 444-mw Vishnugad Pipalkoti hydroelectric project on India’s Alaknanda River. THDC wants to determine optimal measures for dealing with sediment before finalizing construction bidding documents.

Ukraine utility OJSC UkrHydroEnergo awarded a 4.6 million franc (US$4.18 million) contract to ABB Switzerland Ltd. to supply 33 generator circuit breakers for the 444-mw Kaniv, 361-mw Kyiv (or Kiev), and 661-mw Dnipro 2 hydropower projects. Equipment is to be delivered over four years.

Ecuador utility Empresa Generadora del Austro S.A. (ElecAustro) named Hidalgo & Hidalgo y Asociados to build the 26-mw Ocana hydroelectric project in Ecuador’s Canar Province. An ElecAustro official told Business News Americas the Ecuador construction company would begin work in April, upon approval of the contract by the attorney general. Construction is to require 852 days. Ocana is to cost a total of US$44.2 million and to generate power for 4 cents per kilowatt-hour.


n CONTRACT AWARD:

India developer to build Nepal’s 402-mw Arun 3

The government of Nepal awarded a contract to India hydro developer Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (SJVN) to build the 402-mw Arun 3 hydroelectric project on the Arun River in Nepal’s Shankhuwasabha District.

Nepal news media reported officials of the Ministry of Water Resources signed a memorandum of understanding in March with officials of SJVN, a joint venture of India’s Himachal Pradesh State and its federal government.

SJVN is authorized to arrange funding and develop the estimated US$860 million project over five years and to operate it for 30 years on a build-own-operate-transfer basis.

In competition with eight other bidders, SJVN agreed to provide 21.9 percent (88 mw) of the project’s power free of charge to the government of Nepal.

It also is to: reimburse the government for a US$7 million feasibility study of the project; pay a royalty of 7.5 percent of project income to the government; and remit a 0.5 percent export tax on power. It also is to present bank guarantees of 100,000 rupees (US$2,483) per megawatt for a survey license and 500,000 rupees (US$12,418) per megawatt for a power generating license.

SJVN also is to perform an environmental assessment and to build a road and transmission line.


n PROJECT DEVELOPMENT:

South Africa nears contracts for 1,332-mw Ingula

South African utility Eskom Holdings Ltd. said it is finalizing major construction and equipment contracts for the 1,332-mw Ingula pumped-storage project in South Africa.

Eskom is developing Ingula, formerly called Braamhoek, in the Little Drakensberg Mountains near Ladysmith, on the border between Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. Completion is scheduled for mid-2013.

The project is to feature two dams, one atop the Drakensberg escarpment and the other at the bottom, with water tunnels, an underground powerhouse complex with four turbine-generators, access tunnels, and access roads.

Eskom said in February it is finalizing contracts for upper and lower dam construction, main underground works, and the hydro-mechanical plant.

Contracts already awarded include: access roads, Grinaker/ LTA; main access tunnel, CMC Mavundla; infrastructure, Afriscan; aggregate quarry, B&E Quanza Group; supervision, BCJV, and design monitoring, BCJV.

Excavation on a 6-by-6-meter construction access tunnel had advanced to 1.3 kilometers, the utility said. A 9-by-9-meter main access tunnel also has been started. Access roads to the site offices and upper dam are close to completion.

Eskom said a team of horticulturalists from the Bloemfontein Botanical Gardens has been working on the upper dam site, removing plants prior to dam wall construction. The team is assessing all species in the area and removing a number of plants for replanting at gardens in Bloemfontein.

Last year, Murray & Roberts, a South Africa construction and engineering group, completed construction of a 1,050-meter exploration tunnel. The tunnel will carry all high-tension cables from the powerhouse complex and is fitted with instrumentation to verify geotechnical information.


n CONTRACT AWARD:

Bosnia names Statkraft to build Vrbas projects

Bosnia’s Serb Republic government named Norwegian utility Statkraft its partner in the construction of hydropower plants on the Vrbas River that could cost up to 100 million euros (US$147.8 million).

Statkraft, which had already been cleared by the energy ministry and the concessions commission, wants to build several small hydro plants on the Vrbas in northwestern Bosnia, Prime Minister Milorad Dodik said.

Dodik said Statkraft would conduct analysis and a feasibility study to determine the number of plants, their capacity, and the total value of the project.

Bosnia’s Federal News Agency said the proposed project area, where the Vrbas joins the Sava River, is the site of four possible projects.


n DEVELOPMENT:

Guatemala seeks BOT for 180-mw Xalala

Guatemala utility Instituto Nacional de Electrificacion (INDE) seeks bids by July 31 to build the 180-mw Xalala hydroelectric project on Guatemala’s Chixoy River on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.

The estimated US$350 million to US$400 million project is to be built on the border of Quiche and Alta Verapaz departments. Although 180 mw has been the described project capacity, bid documents described the project as about 200 mw.

INDE General Manager Marinius Boer said the utility seeks an international company with ample experience to contribute 80 percent of the project investment. The remainder would come from Guatemalan investors. INDE is to award a 30-year power purchase contract to the winning bidder.

Studies are to be performed over two years. Construction is to require another three years.

Terms of reference are available on INDE’s Internet site, www.inde.gob.gt, and on Guatemala’s tender Internet site, www.guatecompras.gob. gt. Interested parties may submit questions until June 27.

Bids are due by 10 a.m. July 31. A winning bidder is to be announced by September 1.

For information, contact Instituto Nacional de Electrificacion, Gerente de la Empresa de Generacion de Energia Electrica, 7a Avenida 2-29, Zona 9, Edificio Central del INDE, N 1- C.P. 01009, Guatemala City, Guatemala; (502) 2-4221800; Fax: (502) 2-4222040; E-mail: consultasxalala@inde.gob.gt.


n PRIVATIZATION:

Zorlu Enerji wins seven Turkey hydro projects

Turkey’s Zorlu Enerji won a March tender for privatization of nine power plants belonging to Ankara Dogal Elektrik Uretim, including seven hydroelectric projects totaling 111 mw.

Privatization Administration Deputy Chairman Ahmet Aksu said Zorlu bid US$510 million for Ankara Dogal Elektrim’s diesel-fueled power plant and operating rights to seven hydro plants and one geothermal project. Aksu said the auction attracted 27 bidders.

The chairman of parent company Zorlu Holding, Ahmet Nazif Zorlu, said the company would invest US$150 million in the facilities.

Holdings of Ankara Dogal Elektrik Uretim, owned by the Privatization Administration, included seven hydro projects: 5.5-mw Atakoy, 16.8-mw Beykoy, 15.4-mw Cildir, 18.6-mw Ikizdere, 20.9-mw Kuzgun, 19.2-mw Mercan, and 15-mw Tercan.

Ankara Dogal Elektrik holdings also included the 15-mw Engil diesel plant and the 15-mw Denizli geothermal project.

Turkey has been divesting government-owned assets, including hydroelectric projects, under a privatization law passed in 2001.


n FINANCE:

European bank funds Austria’s 480-mw Limberg 2

The European Investment Bank (EIB) approved an additional 40 million euros (US$62.1 million) in funding for the 480-mw Limberg 2 pumped-storage project being built by Verbund Austrian Hydro Power near Kaprun, Austria.

Verbund is building an underground powerhouse containing two pump-turbines as part of the Glockner Kaprun scheme, near the 240-mw Kaprun project. Limberg 2 is to employ the existing storage reservoirs of Mooserboden and Wasserfallboden. In February, Verbund received for bids for electrical distribution and control equipment for the project.

EIB reported a finance contract for the 40 million euros was signed in March. The bank approved financing of 200 million euros (US$310.8 million) for the project a year earlier. The latest approval brings total bank funding to 240 million euros (US$372.9 million).

In late 2007, Verbund awarded a contract to Hans Kunz GmbH of Austria to supply safety shut-off valves and slidegate valve chamber equipment and another contract to WPK Werkstoff-Planung-Kontroll Ges.m.b.H of Austria for oversight of equipment installation.

In April 2007, Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation reported the successful model testing for two 240-mw pump-turbines it is to supply. In 2006, Verbund awarded contracts to Andritz VA Tech Hydro to supply two motor-generators, excitation systems, and steel tunnel linings of the pressure shaft and the high-head manifold.

Commissioning of Limberg 2’s first 240-mw unit is scheduled for autumn 2011, with full commercial operation in March 2012.


n CONTRACT AWARD:

India firm to build Nepal’s 300-mw Upper Karnali

Nepal awarded a contract to a consortium led by India’s GMR Group to build the 300-mw Upper Karnali project on the Karnali River.

GMR announced its units and partner Italian-Thai Development Project Co. signed a memorandum with the government of Nepal. The build-own-operate-transfer award was made as the result of Nepal’s first international competitive bidding process for a large hydro project.

The consortium agreed to provide 12 percent of the project’s power free to the government and to give Nepal Electricity Authority a free 27 percent equity in the company formed to develop Upper Karnali. Most power generated by the project is to be exported to India’s grid.

Nepal announced bidding in December 2006 for Upper Karnali and the 402-mw Arun 3 and 600-mw Budhi Gandaki hydroelectric projects. GMR said an evaluation committee awarded it top ranking for both Upper Karnali and Arun 3. However, GMR said, the government decided to allocate only one project per developer, resulting in the Upper Karnali award to the GMR-led group.


n REFURBISHMENT:

Briefly

Romanian utility Hidroelectrica SA awarded a 9.58 million lei (US$3.94 million) contract to S.C. UCM Resita SA of Romania for rehabilitation of a generating unit of the 38-mw Arcesti hydro project on the Olt River. S.C. UCM Resita was the sole bidder for the contract.

Philippines power producer First Gen Hydro Power Corp. said it commissioned VA Tech Hydro GmbH of Austria to perform major refurbishment and upgrade work at the 100-mw Pantabangan hydroelectric project to increase capacity initially by 18 mw. VA Tech Hydro is to refurbish two turbine-generators. First Gen Corp. acquired the project in a 2006 privatization auction.

Finland utility Kemijoki Oy awarded a contract to Alstom Hydro Sweden AB to uprate two generators of the 110-mw Pirttikoski hydroelectric project on Finland’s Kemijoki River. Work includes new stators and new rotor poles if necessary. The first unit is to be completed by November 2009 and the second by November 2010.

Liberia named Stanley Consultants Inc. of the United States to perform a feasibility study of rebuilding and expanding the 64-mw Mount Coffee hydro project on the St. Paul River. Local media reported Liberia Electricity Corp. hired Stanley to perform the work with a US$531,500 grant by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. The study is to include expanding Mount Coffee to 100 mw.


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