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Group donates hydro project to preserve World Heritage Site

International electric power producers have donated a US$1 million hydroelectric plant to the Philippine government that will raise funds to help save the country's rice terraces.

The 220-kW plant, donated by the non-profit group e8, is now operating in the northern Ifugao province, home to 4,000 square miles of rice terraces carved out of the mountainsides some 2,000 years ago and irrigated by spring waters.

The terraces, the main tourist attraction in the northern Cordillera region, were included in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) list of World Heritage Sites in Danger in 2001.

Johane Meagher, e8 executive director, said the plant's $70,000 in annual revenue will go to a conservation fund to rehabilitate the ancient rice fields. The project will also showcase sustainable rural energy development, she said in a statement.

The group turned over the hydroelectric plant to the Department of Energy at a ceremony in Manila, said Mario Marasigan, director of the Renewable Energy Management Bureau. The plant, built by Tokyo Electric Power Company, has been connected to the region's main grid, providing about 18 percent of Ifugao's power needs.

Canada-based e8 comprises ten electric power producers from seven members of the G8 — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the U.S. Created in the wake of the 1992 Rio Summit, e8 is a non-profit international organization whose mission is to play an active role in global electricity issues within the international framework and to promote sustainable energy development through electricity sector projects and human capacity building activities in developing and emerging nations worldwide.

Mavel to supply turbines, related technology for Belarus project

Mavel a.s. will provide five turbines and related technology for the Grodnenskaya hydroelectric project in Belarus, the company reports.

The project is on the Neman River and is owned by RUP Grodnoenergo. Mavel will supply five double-regulated horizontal PIT turbines with runner diameters of 3 meters — Mavel type KP3000K4. The expected installed capacity of the plant will be just under 19 MW. Mavel also will supply generators, hydraulic units, gearboxes, and control systems. Commissioning is expected in 2011.

Financing for the project from the Czech Export Bank was procured and signed earlier this year. This type of financing is available to foreign customers of Czech companies, Mavel reported.

Mavel is a Czech Republic-based manufacturing and engineering company focusing on the production of turbines for hydropower plants from 25 kW to more than 25 MW.

Rwanda seeks renewable energy adviser, including small hydro

The Ministry of Infrastructure, through the Rwanda Electricity Corp., plans to hire an expert in renewable energy whose overall responsibilities are to support the ministry to develop a Renewable Energy Strategy for the country. The total project is to include five main components: policy, strategy, and management; biomass; micro-hydro; solar energy; and energy efficiency.

The government negotiated US$4.5 million in financing from the World Bank's Global Environment Facility and was negotiating for US$3.8 million from the ESMAP CEIF trust fund in July 2009.

The program is to strengthen public and private sector capacity to implement, supervise, and regulate sustainable energy projects. Included is the stimulation of sustainable mini- and micro-hydro development and encouragement of private-sector-operated hydro development.

Small hydro sought for Bulgaria monastery

Rila Holy Cloister plans to seek bids for construction of a small hydropower project on the Iliina River at Rila.

The monastery plans to use grant money from a fund to decommission the 2,000-MW Kozloduy nuclear plant that is administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The 2.9 million euro (US$3.9 million) project is to build a small hydroelectric plant on the Iliina and provide reliable energy supply and efficiency improvements to Rila Holy Cloister and the area.

The monastery plans to seek bids for design, supply, construction, and commissioning of the project as well as assistance in technical specification, procurement, and supervision of implementation. It also will seek consultants for environmental impact assessment of the project.

Procurement is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2010 from firms from European Union member countries, Switzerland, and EBRD countries of operation.

Argentina to seek development of mini-hydro projects

The government of Argentina plans to seek bids for equipment and services under a renewable energy in rural markets program, including mini-hydropower projects.

Argentina received a US$50 million loan from the World Bank that is to be used for goods, services, and consultants under the program. The national and provincial governments also are to provide funding.

The government plans to seek bids for electricity generating equipment in off-grid rural markets including mini-hydroelectric stations, and solar, wind, fuel cell, hybrid, and diesel equipment. It also plans to seek bids for market studies, feasibility studies, and project administration.

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