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n CONTRACT AWARD:

Group to design, supervise 969-mw Neelum-Jhelum

Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) signed a 4.1 billion rupee (US$61 million) contract with an international consortium for design and construction supervision of the 969-mw Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric project.

Neelum-Jhelum General Manager Jusnain Afzal signed the contract May 14 on behalf of WAPDA with Gene Kocian, representing Neelum- Jhelum Consultants, a joint venture of MWH of the United States, Norplan of Norway, and three Pakistani firms, National Engineering Services (Nespak), Associated Consulting Engineers (ACE), and National Development Consultants (NDC).

WAPDA had called for consultants to review detailed design for civil works, prepare construction drawings, and review design and specification for plant and equipment for hydraulic steel works, electrical and mechanical works, and construction supervision.

China Gezhouba Group Corp. and China National Machinery & Equipment Import & Export Corp. were successful bidders for civil construction, and mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic steel works for Neelum-Jhelum.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf launched construction of the US$2 billion project in February.


n PROJECT DEVELOPMENT:

Colombia utility to build 800-mw Sogamoso

The board of Colombia utility Isagen S.A. has approved plans to build the 800-mw Sogamoso hydroelectric project.

An Isagen spokesman said Sogamoso would be built over the next ten years for 2.3 trillion pesos (US$1.3 billion).

Isagen purchased rights to develop Sogamoso in 2007 from Electrificadora de Santander S.A. for 26 billion pesos (US$12 million). It purchased Santander’s rights to studies, designs, and environmental licensing.


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n CONTRACT AWARD:

VA Tech Hydro to equip three Turkish plants

Joint venture hydro developer EnerjiSA awarded a contract to VA Tech Hydro of Austria to equip three hydroelectric projects in Turkey totaling 459 mw.

EnerjiSA, a joint venture of Austrian utility Verbund and Turkey’s Sabanci Group, placed the order worth 70 million euros (US$108.2 million) with VA Tech Hydro, a unit of Andritz Group.

VA Tech Hydro is to supply complete electro-mechanical equipment, including service work, for the Kandil hydropower cascade in Kahramanmaras Province, including the 213.9-mw Kandil, 103.2-mw Sariguzel, and 142-mw Hacininoglu projects.

Kandil, Sariguzel, and Hacininoglu are the first of nine hydropower projects EnerjiSA plans to build totaling 1,000 mw. Other projects are 180-mw Kavsakbendi, 78-mw Yamanli 2, 45-mw Cambasi, 145-mw Kopru, 85-mw Menge, and 8-mw Dagdelen.

EnerjiSA already operates four hydro projects totaling 85 mw in Antalya, Mersin, and Kahramanmaras. It also operates four gas-fired power plants and has plans to build other thermal and wind plants.

Verbund received approval from the European Union in 2007 to proceed with its power production joint venture with Turkey’s Sabanci Group. At that time, Verbund said it would invest US$326.6 million to buy a stake in EnerjiSA from Sabanci and purchase new shares issued in a capital increase at EnerjiSA, bringing its total stake to 49.99 percent and providing EnerjiSA with US$242.2 million in fresh funds.


n CONTRACTS:

Briefly

Karntner Elektrizitats AG (Kelag) awarded contracts to two companies to supply a pump and a motor to enable pumped-storage operation at the 50-mw Koralpe hydro project on Austria’s Drau River. Kelag awarded a contract to Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation to supply a storage pump and globe valve. It awarded a contract to Alstom Hydro Austria to supply an alternating current synchronous motor.

Ukraine turbine manufacturer Turboatom signed a contract with Russian equipment supplier OJSC Power Machines to supply turbines for the 660-mw Shengsigou hydro project in China. The 12 million euro (US$18.5 million) contract calls for four 165-mw vertical Kaplan turbines.

The World Bank named consultants to perform two studies of a project to refill the Dead Sea with water from the Red Sea and possibly generate hydropower. On behalf of Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Israel, the bank named Coyne et Bellier of France to perform a feasibility study and Environment Resources Management of the United Kingdom to perform an environment and social study. The 180-kilometer canal is intended to reverse a 25-meter decline in the level of the Dead Sea in the past century.


n PROJECT DEVELOPMENT:

Brazil, Peru agree to build 1,400-mw Inambari

Brazil and Peru agreed to build the 1,400-mw Inambari hydroelectric project in Peru with plans to export electricity to northern Brazil.

Peru Energy and Mines Minister Juan Valdivia Romero and Brazil Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao met to firm up the Inambari agreement in May. Peru’s government said an investment of US$2 billion will be required to build Inambari 300 miles from the Brazil border on the borders of Peru’s Puno, Cusco, and Madre de Dios departments. Construction could begin in 2009 with commencement of operation by 2012.

The international director of Brazil construction company OAS, Augusto Cesar Ferreira, said OAS and Brazil federal utility Furnas Centrais Eletricas S.A. plan to invest US$2 billion to build Inambari. The companies are to perform field studies and environmental, archaeological, and economic examinations.

Lobao said Brazil and Peru are considering building 14 more hydroelectric projects in Peru. He did not provide details on the costs of the projects or how they would be financed.

The Brazilian minister told reporters the bulk of the energy from the planned dams would be sent to Brazil.

In February, Lobao said Brazil planned to build five hydroelectric plants with a total capacity of 10,000 mw jointly with South American neighbors Argentina and Bolivia.


n PROJECT DEVELOPMENT:

Swiss to build 600-mw Nant de Drance

A Swiss utility and a federal railway agreed to proceed with construction of the 600-mw Nant de Drance pumped-storage project at Finhaut in the Swiss Alps.

The boards of utility Aare-Tessin AG fur Elektrizitat (Atel) and federal railway SBB voted to approve building the 990 million franc (US$950 million) project. Atel is to own 60 percent of the project, while SBB owns 40 percent.

Approval is subject to a license and building permit being issued and additional cost limits being set for construction and operation, Atel said. Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-2008 with operation in 2015.

Nant de Drance is to in-clude an underground powerhouse containing four 150-mw variable-speed pump-turbines, a transformer cavern with common access tunnel of 5,500 meters starting at Le Chatelard, two parallel water conveyance systems with 250-meter headrace tunnel, 470-meter vertical shaft, 160-meter steel-lined pressure tunnel with manifold, and tailrace tunnel with manifold.

The project is to utilize the height difference of two existing reservoirs, Emosson and Vieux Emosson, in Finhaut between Martigny and Chamonix, to produce peaking power. Access to the completely underground plant is to be by a 5-kilometer tunnel, minimizing environmental effects of the big power station.


n COMPANY NEWS:

IMPSA to issue US$65 million in notes

Industrias Metalurgicas Pescarmona S.A. (IMPSA) proposed a one-year US$65 million issuance of notes to finance the Argentine hydropower equipment supplier’s capital needs for the coming year.

Fitch Ratings assigned a B rating to the proposed issuance of notes to be due in 2009. Fitch said IMPSA’s credit rating is supported by sustained global demand for hydroelectric and wind technology and equipment.

The ratings agency said the increased attractiveness of renewable energy sources boosted IMPSA’s backlog to US$1.7 billion as of January 2008, from US$481 million in April 2006. It said that has added certainty to the company’s cash generation in the medium term.

Balanced against IMPSA’s strengths, Fitch said, are its high leverage, its sound capital needs to finance project developments, and the concentration of cash flow in a few large projects in developing countries, namely Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, and Malaysia. Fitch said a sudden downturn in key markets could negatively affect IMPSA.


n REFURBISHMENT:

Canada to refurbish Afghan dam

The government of Canada plans to increase aid to Afghanistan over the next three years and shift its focus from military activity to development, including rehabilitation of Dahla Dam, the country’s second largest.

Canada said June 10 it plans to invest C$50 million (US$48.9 million) over three years to refurbish the dam and irrigation system as a “signature project” of Canada’s aid to Afghanistan. Built in the 1950s, Dahla has three small hydro generators rendered only partly operable due to wear and tear, and silting of the reservoir.

Total Canadian aid for the ten-year period 2001-2011 will increase to C$1.9 billion (US$1.8 billion) from a previously announced C$1.3 billion (US$1.2 billion), with C$280 million (US$274 million) a year being spent over the next three years, a statement said.

Funding also will go to two other signature projects, construction or repair of 50 schools and expanded polio immunization. Efforts will center on Kandahar Province, a center of Canadian military occupation.

Repairs to Dahla Dam include replacing generators and repairing valves to improve control of water flow. Work also includes fixing gates to control Arghandab River flows into the irrigation canal system. Canals also are to be repaired and desilted.


n FINANCE:

Funds to expand Madagascar’s Andekaleka

The European Investment Bank signed a 24.5 million euro (US$38.2 million) loan agreement June 6 to finance installation of two additional turbine-generators at Madagascar’s 58-mw Andekaleka hydroelectric project.

Energy and Mines Minister Elise Razaka, who participated in the signing, said the units would increase Andekaleka to 126 mw.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Kuwait, and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa also are to contribute to doubling capacity of the hydro project 125 kilometers east of Antananarivo.


n CONTRACT AWARD:

Voith Siemens equips Chile’s 163.2-mw La Confluencia

Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation is supplying generating equipment for construction of the 163.2-mw La Confluencia hydroelectric project in central Chile.

Pacific Hydro Ltd. of Australia and Statkraft Norfund Power Invest of Norway (SN Power) began construction of the US$350 million project in January.

Under a 38.4 million euro (US$59.6 million) contract, Voith Siemens is supplying two 81.6 mw Francis turbines and generators with a nominal rated output of 95.6 megavolt-amperes.

It also is supplying spherical valves, automation, mechanical and electrical balance of plant equipment, and other electro-mechanical auxiliaries. The contract also includes a substation, assembly, and supervision of commissioning.

The project is to begin operating in 2010.


n REFURBISHMENT:

South Africa awards upgrade for 360-mw Gariep

South African utility Eskom awarded a contract for refurbishment and upgrade of four generators at the 360-mw Gariep hydroelectric project on the Orange River.

Eskom Generation awarded the 22 million euro (US$33.9 million) contract to Alstom Hydro to refurbish the units of Gariep, which was built in the 1970s. Alstom Hydro said the work would extend the life of the machines, increase their output to 112 megavolt-amperes (mva) from 100 mva, and increase plant availability.

Eskom originally planned to conduct generator refurbishments as normal maintenance at Gariep, which includes South Africa’s largest reservoir. However, it embarked on a feasibility study to identify requirements for a complete unit capacity upgrade.

Alstom Hydro said the work includes replacement of stator frames, stator cores, stator windings, and rotor windings.


n COMPANY NEWS:

EDB wins controlling stake in 902.5-mw Luis Eduardo Magalhaes

Utility Energias do Brasil (EDB) acquired a controlling stake in the 902.5-mw Luis Eduardo Magalhaes hydroelectric project at Lajeado on the Tocantins River in Brazil’s Tocantins State.

EDB’s parent firm, Energias de Portugal (EDP), said the agreement was executed June 19 with Grupo Rede, one of EDP’s partners in developing Magalhaes.

EDB agreed to trade its ownership of Mato Grosso do Sul State distribution utility Empresa Energetica do Mato Grosso do Sul (Enersul) for Grupo Rede’s controlling stake in Investco, which operates the hydro project. The deal is subject to approval of Brazil electricity regulator Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica and to other contractual and governance procedures.

The agreement allows EDB to consolidate its position in Investco, increasing its voting stake to 73 percent from 27.65 percent.

“This swap will allow EDB to raise its generation capacity to 1,700 mw from the current 1,000 mw on the basis of an asset that we know and has no risks,” EDP Chief Executive Antonio Mexia said.

Magalhaes is operated under a 35-year concession.


n CONTRACTS:

Briefly

Developer Yedigoze Elektrik Uretim ve Ticaret A.S. (YEUT) awarded a contract to Alstom Hydro to supply turbine-generators for the 320-mw Yedigoze hydroelectric project on Turkey’s Seyhan River. YEUT, owned by Sanko Group of Turkey, named Alstom Hydro for design, manufacturing, installation, supervision, and commissioning of two 160-mw turbine-generators for Yedigoze.

The ABB power and automation technology group is performing a control system upgrade for five New Zealand hydroelectric projects totaling 501 mw that are operated by Genesis Energy. The utility awarded a NZ$9.8 million (US$7.6 million) contract to ABB for the system upgrade at 240-mw Tokaanu, 120-mw Rangipo, 60-mw Tuai, 44-mw Piripaua, and 37-mw Kaitawa.

Cameroon utility AES SONEL awarded a contract to VA Tech Hydro AG to refurbish the 263-mw Edea hydroelectric project on Cameroon’s Sanaga River. The Swiss unit of Andritz VA Tech Hydro received a contract worth 48.15 million euros (US$74.97 million) for design-build refurbishment of Edea.

Vietnam hydro plant builder Cavico Corp. won a fifth construction contract for the 75-mw Dambri hydro project, agreeing to build a rolling weir in 30 months. Cavico said the US$3.12 million contract brings its total awards for Dambri to more than US$37 million.


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