Waterpower XVI Conference website launched
PennWell has launched a comprehensive Internet site for Waterpower XVI, providing information and registration opportunities for the hydropower industry conference and exhibition, July 27-30 in Spokane, Washington, U.S.A.
The website, www.waterpowerconference.com, offers quick links to the entire conference program, including listings of technical papers and agendas of special briefings, symposia, and roundtables. The site also offers information and links to delegate registration and to reservation of Exhibition Hall space.
The Waterpower conference provides a unique learning opportunity for hydro professionals of every level, from industry novices seeking training to veterans seeking to expand and update their specific areas of interest. More than 1,400 delegates from 40 countries met for the previous Waterpower conference, Waterpower XV, in 2007 at Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.A.
The Internet site also lists suppliers of hydro industry goods and services who have reserved space for the exhibition. More than 250 exhibitors already have signed up for the event at the Spokane Convention Center.
Hydro Review magazine is the flagship media sponsor of Waterpower XVI, which is owned and produced by PennWell.
Portugal pledges additional hydropower expansion
Portugal Prime Minister Jose Socrates visited the construction site of the 260-MW Alqueva 2 pumped-storage project on the Guadiana River, pledging to continue developing the hydropower capacity of Portugal’s water resources.
“For a country that depended and depends on oil, it really has been a mistake not to take advantage of our water potential to produce energy,” Socrates said.
The prime minister said the government would continue to make improvements to existing dams and hydropower projects to increase their generating capacity. Alqueva 2 is among ten new projects, and five hydro project expansions, included in Portugal’s national program of dams with high hydropower potential, Programa Nacional de Barragens com Elevado Potencial Hidroelectrico. (See “Snapshots of Pumped-Storage Projects,” HRW, December 2008.)
Concession-holder Energias de Portugal (EDP) awarded a 94 million euro (US$138.3 million) contract in September 2008 to Alstom Hydro for supply of turbine-generators and other equipment for Alqueva 2, an expansion of the 260-MW Alqueva hydro project.
EDP announced it signed a contract for 145 million euros (US$188.7 million) in financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for two other projects in the program of dams with high hydropower potential, 248-MW Picote 2 and 191-MW Bemposta 2, both on Portugal’s Douro River.
An official of Aguas de Portugal said the state-owned water utility is preparing to invest more than 600 million euros (US$782 million) in projects to generate electricity from waste, hydro, and other renewable sources.
Brazil defends priority for hydropower investment
The president of Brazil’s state-owned utility holding company defended Brazil’s emphasis on hydro project investment in an international meeting on hydropower of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
President Jose Antonio Muniz of Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras S/A (Eletrobras) defended diversified investment in the Brazilian energy matrix, with priority for new hydroelectric plants.
“We have to work with all possible sources, but in the short term we should take more of our potential and invest mainly in hydroelectric plants and some in nuclear plants, without losing sight of sources such as wind,” Muniz said.
Muniz said the operation of hydroelectric power at full load and the subsequent reduction in the use of thermal power might cause a small reduction in the electricity tariff in Brazil.
“This should lead to a decrease in the cost of production, but the charge involves a broad set of variables that go beyond this, such as taxes, which account for more than 40 percent of the Brazilian energy rate,” he said.
Director General Albert Cordeiro Geber de Meio of Brazil’s center for electric energy, Centro de Pesquisas de Energia Eletrica (Cepel), said the February IEA meeting was convened after Brazil’s Ministerio de Minas e Energia (MME) approached the IEA to defend the country’s interests in energy development. “We proposed the creation of working groups and made the invitation to the IEA to come to Brazil to know good examples related to hydroelectricity, which are not shown to the international community,” said Cordeiro, who served as mediator of the meeting.
International Hydropower Association seeks board members
The International Hydropower Association (IHA) invites nominations for board members for 2009-2011. The closing date for nominations is June 1.
All candidates must be IHA members. If elected, candidates also must be willing to commit to the shared responsibilities of the board, and to commit to attending the majority of the board’s meetings.
The nomination form and instructions for completing the form are available on the IHA Internet site, www.hydropower.org.
Nominations are due June 1. Board candidates are to be announced June 26 at the IHA Congress in Reykjavik, Iceland. Board elections are scheduled for July 13 to September 7, and election results are to be announced September 11.
Turkey to open six hydro plants in 2009
Turkey’s General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSi) announced it plans to start producing electricity at six hydroelectric plants in 2009.
The authority said the projects would produce 2.03 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. Separately, the private sector is carrying on construction of 34 hydropower plants, which are to produce 3.86 billion kWh a year. A statement by DSi said construction of 16 dams is to be completed this year.
Environment Minister Veysel Eroglu, who supervises the water authority, told a news conference the global economic crisis would not delay the government’s drive to boost energy output.
“We believe that times of crisis especially need increase in public investments,” he said.
Brazil president lays cornerstone of 3,300-MW Jirau
Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva laid the cornerstone March 12 in a ceremony to mark beginning of construction of the 3,300-MW Jirau project on the Madeira River in Rondonia State.
Lula led the ceremony during a trip to visit the construction sites of both Jirau and its sister project, 3,150-MW Santo Antonio, also on the Madeira. Both projects are being developed under Brazil’s Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), which provides more favorable financing to investors. The two projects require investment of about 21.2 billion reais (US$9.4 billion) plus 7.2 billion reais (US$3.2 billion) for transmission lines.
Developer Consorcio Energia Sustevntavel do Brasil (ESBR) awarded a US$410 million contract to China’s Dongfang Electric for supply of 18 turbine-generators to the project. A consortium led by Alstom Hydro and including Voith Hydro and Andritz Hydro also won a 300 million euro (US$421.8 million) contract from ESBR to supply 28 turbine-generators and other equipment for Jirau. Jirau is to have a total of 46 generating units.
Hindustan wins civil work at India’s 195-MW Kashang
India’s Himachal Pradesh Power Corp. Ltd. (HPPC) awarded a contract worth 2.9 billion rupees (US$58.4 million) to Hindustan Construction Co. (HCC) of India for civil construction of the 195-MW Kashang hydroelectric project on the Kashang River in India’s Himachal Pradesh State.
HCC was chosen over one other bidder for construction of Kashang’s river diversion, intake structure, conveyance channel, desilting basins, power channel, headrace tunnel, underground balancing reservoir, pressure shaft, valve chamber, adit to valve chamber/balancing reservoir, civil works of underground powerhouse and transformer hall, and a tailrace tunnel.
Impregilo to build South Africa’s 1,368-MW Ingula
South African utility Eskom named Impregilo and CMC of Italy to build the 1,368-MW Ingula pumped-storage project on the border of South Africa’s Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.
Impregilo announced March 31 that it has a 40 percent interest in the construction consortium to build the 600 million euro (US$792.6 million) pumped-storage project in the Little Drakensberg Mountains near Ladysmith. Completion is scheduled for 2013.
Impregilo and its partners are responsible for underground civil works, including installation of pump-turbines, underground waterways, leveling shafts, penstocks, powerhouse and transformer caverns, access tunnels, and upper and lower reservoirs.
In 2008, Eskom named Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation to equip Ingula under a 140 million euro (US$184.9 million) contract. Voith Hydro is to supply electro-mechanical equipment including four pump-turbines of 342 MW each.
India awards contracts for 111-MW Sawra Kuddu
India’s Himachal Pradesh Power Corp. Ltd. (HPPC) awarded a 1.53 billion rupee (US$31.18 million) contract to Patel Engineering Ltd. of India for construction of the 111-MW Sawra Kuddu hydroelectric project on the Pabbar River in India’s Himachal Pradesh State.
Patel was chosen from among three bidders for construction of Sawra Kuddu’s powerhouse, including a surge shaft, pressure shafts, machine hall, installation bay, control bay, transformer cavern, pothead yard, cable tunnel and other tunnels, and tailrace tunnel.
HPPC also awarded a contract worth US$36.15 million to VA Tech Hydro Pvt. India Ltd. and VA Tech EWF Pvt. Ltd of India to supply electro-mechanical equipment for Sawra Kuddu. The firms were chosen over one other bidder for design, supply, installation, and commissioning of three 37-MW turbine-generators, auxiliaries, generator transformers, 245-kilovolt gas-insulated switchgear, XLPE cable, and other equipment for the powerhouse, pothead yard, dam area, and BFV house area.
Andritz to equip Turkey’s 265.5-MW Alkumru
Andritz Hydro has received an order from Limak Energy to supply electro-mechanical equipment to the 265.5-MW Alkumru hydroelectric project on Turkey’s Dicle River.
Andritz said the 55 million euro (US$70.7 million) contract includes three 88.5-MW vertical Francis turbines, generators, and complete electro-mechanical equipment.
Alkumru is to begin commercial operation in early 2011 in Turkey’s Southeast Anatolia Region. It is to generate 900 gigawatt-hours per year.
Donaukraftwerk Jochenstein AG awarded a contract to Voith Hydro to supply a replacement turbine for the 132-MW Jochenstein hydroelectric project in Germany. The 1.9 million euro (US$2.4 million) contract calls for Voith to redevelop Jochenstein Unit 5, a 28.9-MW turbine.
Verbund Austrian Hydro Power awarded a contract to YIT Austria GmbH to supply electrical distribution and control equipment for the 480-MW Limberg 2 pumped-storage project in Austria. The hydro operator is building an underground powerhouse containing two motor-generators as part of the Glockner Kaprun scheme, near the 240-MW Kaprun project.
Energias de Portugal named a consortium of Andritz Hydro and Ensulmeci to supply generating equipment for the 170-MW Baixo Sabor pumped-storage project on the Sabor River in northern Portugal. The 111 million euro (US$139.6 million) contract calls for complete electro-mechanical equipment for two pumped-storage plants.
China Gezhouba Group Corp. won a 1.14 billion renminbi (US$167 million) contract to build the 510-MW Zangmu hydroelectric project in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. The contract, from China Huaneng Group’s Tibet Power Generation Co. Ltd., calls for China Gezhouba to design and build the project on the middle reach of the Yarlung Zangbo River.
The Senegal River development organization awarded a 125.7 million euro (US$162 million) contract to SinoHydro Corp. Ltd. of China to build the 59-MW Felou hydroelectric project on the Senegal River in Mali.
India firm to build dam for Bhutan’s 1,200-MW Punatsangchhu 1
India engineer and constructor Larsen & Toubro received a contract to construct the dam and other civil works of the 1,200-MW Punatsangchhu 1 hydroelectric project in Bhutan.
Punatsangchhu 1 is being developed by Punatsangchhu-I Hydroelectric Project Authority, a joint venture of the governments of India and Bhutan. Larsen & Toubro said April 1 the project is the first of ten hydro projects totaling 11,576 MW that the two governments plan to implement by 2020.
The dam package contract, valued at 12.45 billion rupees (US$245.8 million) calls for Larsen & Toubro’s Construction Division to build a diversion tunnel, dam, intake, and desilting arrangement, including hydro-mechanical works, over 66 months.
India approved an intergovernmental agreement with Bhutan in 2007 to implement Punatsangchhu 1. It includes a 400-kilovolt double-circuit transmission lines from the project site to the Indo-Bhutan border. Punatsangchhu is to provide surplus power to India and further integrate the economy of Bhutan with that of India.
Cavico Bridge and Tunnel Construction Co. of Vietnam won a US$6.2 million contract for tunnel construction at the 280-MW Theun-Hinboun Expansion project on Laos’ Nam Theun River. The Cavico Corp. subsidiary is to build a 1,000-meter-long tunnel and a 45-meter-deep dismantling shaft.
Russian equipment supplier Energomashexport Corp. LLC received a turnkey contract to supply electro-mechanical equipment for the 85-MW Baitun hydroelectric project on Panama’s Chiriqui Viejo River. Energomashexport was named winning bidder for the work by Mexican builder Carso Infraestructura y Construccion SA de CV.
Ecuador utility Empresa Generadora del Austro S.A. (ElecAustro) awarded contracts for generating equipment for the 26-MW Ocana hydroelectric project in Ecuador’s Canar Province. Alstom Hydro Espana SL is to supply hydro-mechanical equipment. Siemens S.A. Ecuador is to supply transformers, substation, and a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.
Swiss utility awards 650 MW of hydro rehab
Swiss utility Kraftwerke Hinterrhein AG awarded a contract to Lahmeyer International of Germany and Maggia Engineering of Italy to lead refurbishment of a cascade of hydroelectric projects totaling 650 MW.
Lahmeyer’s Hydropower and Water Resources Division, in cooperation with Maggia, is to provide design and supervision of overall rehabilitation of the cascade of three hydropower projects.
The projects include 185-MW Ferrera, 220-MW Barenburg, and 245-MW Sils. The work is to be completed by 2017.
Voith Hydro to equip China’s 12,600-MW Xiluodu
Voith Hydro received a contract worth more than 120 million euros (US$163.6 million) to supply three turbines and generators to China’s second-largest hydropower project, 12,600-MW Xiluodu.
Xiluodu, on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, also known as the Jinsha River in that area, will be second only to the 22,400-MW Three Gorges Dam downstream when it is finished in 2015 at a cost of more than 50 billion renminbi (US$6.74 billion).
Voith Hydro received a contract from developer China Three Gorges Project Corp. to supply three generators of 855 megavolt-amperes each and three Francis turbines of 784 MW each, totaling 2,352 MW. Voith said the units are to be commissioned in mid-2012.
The design of Xiluodu includes two powerhouses, each containing nine 700-MW generating units.
Voith Hydro books 500 million euros in current year
Voith Hydro said the Xiluodu contract was part of 500 million euros (US$681.6 million) in global projects that the company booked in the first months of the current fiscal year.
“The market for hydropower stations is driven by two long-term trends,” a Voith Hydro statement said. “One is climate change, which boosts the demand for technologies providing CO2-free power generation. Today, hydropower is the only renewable energy resource that can generate power in large quantities, sufficient enough for running large industrial plants such as steel mills.
“The second growth factor for hydropower is the rapidly increasing share of wind energy in electric grids,” the company said. “Power fluctuations caused by varying wind speeds have to be quickly and reliably compensated by suitable backup capacities. Wind and hydropower complement each other perfectly.”
Pakistan awards studies of two projects of 229 MW
Pakistan’s Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) awarded feasibility study contracts for two hydroelectric projects in Northwest Frontier Province totaling 229 MW.
PPIB named Snowy Mountains Engineering Corp. (SMEC) of Australia to develop bankable feasibility studies of the 127-MW Shogo-Sin project on Lutkho River near Chitral and the 102-MW Shushghai-Zhendoli project on Tirich Gol River near Buni.
With a technical assistance loan of US$2.1 million from the Asian Development Bank, PPIB took bids for the work in 2007. The projects were identified by Sarhad Hydel Development Organization (SHYDO) with technical collaboration of Germany’s technical assistance organization, Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ).
EnBW acquires half of Turkey’s Borusan Enerji
Turkish conglomerate Borusan Holding announced that German utility EnBW will take a 50 percent stake in Borusan’s energy unit, Borusan Enerji.
EnBW and Borusan Holding also signed a strategic partnership agreement. The two companies plan an initial power investment for 1,000 MW, with a long-term goal to invest enough to produce 2,000 MW of energy, which would largely be made up of renewable resources.
EnBW Chief Executive Hans-Peter Villis told German daily Financial Times Deutschland that the German utility and Borusan plan to invest 1 billion euros (US$1.27 billion) in the next three to four years.
Voith Siemens Hydro Power becomes Voith Hydro
On April 1, the nine-year-old joint venture Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation became simply Voith Hydro.
Parent Voith AG said the partnership between the big hydro turbine and generator manufacturers remains the same, with Voith holding 65 percent and Siemens 35 percent of the shares in Voith Hydro.
“Under its new name, the company will continue to stand for proven expertise, excellent research and development, technical reliability, and innovations that gained worldwide recognition,” Voith Hydro Chairman Roland Muench said. “Voith Hydro retains its leading position as a quality-conscious provider of equipment and services for existing and new hydroelectric power stations.”
Voith Hydro’s order volume increased by more than 25 percent over the past year to almost 1.4 billion euros (US$1.78 billion), the official said. Its products range from complete concept to individual electrical and hydraulic components, plus expert services.
Coyne et Bellier takes Tractebel name
Consulting engineering firm Coyne et Bellier announced it is changing the company name to Tractebel Engineering to adopt the identity of the engineering unit of the parent GDF Suez Group.
Suez unit Electrabel became the main shareholder of Coyne et Bellier in 1976.
The company did say the commercial name Coyne et Bellier would continue to be used in the field of large infrastructures. Aside from the name change, the company said other identification parameters of the company remained unchanged.
Andritz unites hydro equipment acquisitions
Austria-based technology group Andritz united its far-flung hydropower equipment manufacturing acquisitions under a single name, Andritz Hydro.
The action brings the former GE Hydro and VA Tech Hydro operations under a single name, subsequent to the acquisition of GE Energy’s hydro business in 2008. Andritz Group, a leader in advanced production systems for pulp and paper, steel, and other specialized industries, moved fully into hydropower in 2006 with the acquisition of VA Tech Hydro, from Siemens Austria.
Andritz said the name change did not affect any legal relations of the former units such as ownership structure or capitalization, adding the change only represents the alliance of the Andritz Hydro companies. The company has said the acquisitions now put Andritz in a position to supply its customers with a full range of hydropower equipment worldwide.
European bank considers funding Panama’s 115-MW Dos Mares
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is considering a proposal to provide 170 million euros (US$216 million) in financing to construct the three-plant, 115-MW Dos Mares hydroelectric complex in Panama.
EIB said it has under appraisal the proposal to provide funds to developers Alternegy SA and Bontex SA for the total 340 million euro (US$433 million) project.
Dos Mares is to be a cascade of three run-of-river hydropower plants totaling 115 MW, located in Panama’s Chiriqui Province.
EIB considered the funding to support European Union presence in Latin America through direct foreign investment and to support economic development of Panama through improved electricity supply from a renewable energy source.
The bank said the project sponsors have conducted an environmental impact assessment, including public consultation, for all three plants, finding the project does not generate any major negative social or environmental effects. Nevertheless, mitigation measures have been put in place including the planting of 20 hectares of mixed forest, EIB said.
Russia to finance Kyrgyzstan’s 1,900-MW Kambarata 1
The Kyrgyzstan Parliament unanimously ratified a US$2 billion Russian aid package including a US$1.7 billion discounted loan to help Kyrgyzstan build the 1,900-MW Karambata 1 hydroelectric project.
Construction began in 1986 on the Soviet-era hydro station and sister project 360-MW Kambarata 2. Work halted when the Soviet Union collapsed. Early last year, Electricite de France and PricewaterhouseCoopers of the United States were declared winning bidders for an investment study of the completion of two projects on Kyrgyzstan’s Naryn River.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced the aid package February 3, saying it would help Kyrgyzstan stabilize its finances and develop its industry including the hydropower sector.
Kyrgyz Prime Minister Igor Chudinov discussed the agreement in a news conference, saying construction of Kambarata 1 would take seven years and create 15,000 to 18,000 jobs. Kyrgyz media reported Kambarata 1 would be developed by a joint stock company formed by Russian electricity import and export utility OJSC Inter RAO UES and Kyrgyzstan utility OJSC Elektricheskiye Stantsii, each of which are to own 50 percent of the venture.