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French agency awards contract to CN' Air

French agency Syndicat Departemental d'Equipement d l'Ardeche awarded a contract to CN' Air to operate, maintain, and refurbish the 4.15-MW Cheylard project on France's Eyrieux River.

CN' Air is a subsidiary of French hydro operator Compagnie Nationale du Rhone.

The administrative lease of the small hydro project includes operation of the dam, reservoir, and power plant. The lease is valued at 8.8 million euros (US$11.8 million).

The project has a contract to sell electricity to Electricite de France until October 2012.

China to use European bank loan on 10 projects

The government of China plans to develop 10 small hydropower projects in Hubei Province using a China Climate Change Framework Loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

China will seek equipment and services for the projects in accordance with procurement guidelines of EIB, which approved 134 million euros (US$197 million) in November 2009 for four programs under the climate change loan.

EIB provided 40 million euros (US$59 million) of the 71 million euro (US$104 million) cost of the ten hydro plants. The projects, to be designed, built, and operated in Yichang Prefecture, will have a combined generating capacity of 62 MW.

The hydro work is intended to increase the share of renewable energy in the general production mix in China. The program has a particular focus on the environmental and social effects of the projects where mitigating measures are satisfactorily implemented.

Regulators approve small hydro project in Chile

Regulators in Chile approved an environmental impact statement for the construction of a 7.6 MW hydro project.

The Piruquina project will be built on the Carihueico River in southern Chile and will produce more than 30 gigawatt-hours annually, said Endesa Eco, the company building the US$24 million project.

The company said it plans to register the project under the clean development mechanism established by the Kyoto Protocol. Endesa Eco is a subsidiary of Chilean generator Endesa.

Comexhidro may build two projects in Mexico

Hydropower developer Comexhidro said it may build two projects with a combined capacity of 57 MW in northern Mexico.

Jacobo Mekler, Comexhidro's commercial director, said the company is conducting technical, geographical, and hydrological studies for the 7-MW La Angostura and 50-MW Puebla projects.

Meanwhile, the company continues to develop three hydro projects: 42-MW Veracruz, 14-MW Oaxaca I, and 8-MW Guerrero.

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