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Baja Frio developer secures US$155 million loan

The Netherlands Development Finance Company and DNB ASA, Norway's largest financial services group, will provide a 15-year term loan to the 58 MW Baja Frio project.

Owner and developer Fountain Intertrade Corp. of Panama will receive US$155 million in debt financing for development of the run-of-river scheme, located on Rio Chiriqui Viejo in western Panama. Total costs are expected to be $224 million.

The Baja Frio project comprises a 60 hectare reservoir, a 45 meter by 300 meter dam, a 2 km open-head canal, two 28 MW power stations, a 2 MW turbine for environmental flows and 3 km of transmission line. The plant's annual output is expected to be 243 GWh.

A reforestation program will also be implemented to compensate for habitat lost in the submerged area. The project owner is seeking registration under the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism. Development of the Baja Frio project will reportedly reduce CO2 emissions by 160,000 tons per year.

Scheduled completion of the project is late 2014.

 
The 111 MW Chacayes project, in the Alto Cachopoal Valley of Chile, began operating in December 2011.

Multiple projects being developed in Colombia

Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM) announced in November 2011 it was seeking bids for a major civil construction project on the Cauca River. This work will include construction of a 225 meter-tall rockfill dam, an underground powerhouse with eight turbine-generators and associated works.

In September 2011, EPM reported contractors had started preliminary construction work on the project, which is expected to cost US$3 billion. Ferrovial Agroman Chile S.A. and Sainc Ingenieros Constructores S.A. of Colombia received a €55 million (US$77.3 million) contract in July 2011 to build a powerhouse access tunnel and two river diversion tunnels. A consortium of Ingetec and Sedic of Colombia is to oversee construction under a $66.3 million contract.

News sources also report that Colombian power and engineering company HMV Ingenieros will add up to 200 MW in small hydro capacity in the coming years. HMV has already developed the 9.8 MW Guanaquitas and 9.5 MW Caruquia projects in the Guadalupe River Basin. The company has plans to work on Barroso and El Popal — each with a 20.4 MW capacity and located in Antioquia department — which are expected to come online in 2012.

In 2010, HMV was awarded a temporary concession by Peru's Energy and Mines Ministry, giving the company 24 months to conduct feasibility studies for another 20 MW facility in the Aracucho region

Pacific Hydro launches Chacayes 111 MW project in Chile

Pacific Hydro inaugurated the 111 MW Chacayes run-of-river facility in Chile's Alto Cachopoal Valley in December 2011. The new Chacayes station cost US$450 million and is the first of six run-of-river stations Pacific Hydro will build in the valley.

Pacific Hydro owns about 73% of the Chacayes power station, while Italian constructor Astaldi owns the remainder.

HydroVision Russia pre- conference guide available

Participants and attendees of HydroVision Russia 2012 can get a head start on preparing for the event with the pre-conference guide. The guide is available in electronic and print formats and features important information about the event, exhibitors and conference. This year's event will feature more than 80 exhibitors and 40 presenters from an international field. Printed copies can be obtained by contacting Crispin Coulson at: crispinc@pennwell.com.

HydroVision Russia is a conference and exhibition dedicated to the hydroelectric power industry. The event — now in its second year — runs from March 5-7, 2012, at the ExpoCentre in Moscow.

For more information about HydroVision Russia 2012, please visit: www.hydrovision-russia.com.

ABB awarded contracts for work in Egypt, Poland

Egypt's Hydro Plants Generation Co. (HPGC) has awarded a US$20 million contract to ABB to upgrade the automation of Aswan Dam's three hydro plants totaling more than 2,600 MW. ABB is to provide plant automation and control solutions for the Aswan complex as part of a major plant rehabilitation program.

ABB will supply an integrated plant automation solution including Symphony Plus technology, instrumentation, transformer and generator protection systems; turbine governor systems and electro-hydraulic equipment at one of the plants. It also will upgrade control and excitation systems, automatic voltage regulators, governor systems and electro-hydraulic equipment.

ABB is also scheduled to upgrade electrical protection systems for the 132 kV substation that connects the complex to the transmission system.

Polish utility Energa Hydro Sp. z.o.o. has awarded a contract to ABB Sp. z.o.o. for a replacement transformer block at the 160.2 MW Wloclawek project on Poland's Wisla River. Energa Hydro operates Wloclawek, 44 small hydropower plants and the 156 MW Zydowo pumped-storage project.

ABB Sp. Poland received a contract valued at PLN2.4 million (US$737,960) for the work. The contractor is to deliver, install and commission a replacement 72 MVA transformer Block 3 for a Kaplan turbine-generator.

Equipment ordered for 234 MW Foz Tua pumped-storage facility in Portugal

A consortium that includes Andritz Hydro has received an order to supply equipment for the 234 MW Foz Tua pumped-storage station. The plant will be built on the Tua River in northern Portugal as part of an Energias de Portugal (EDP) effort to increase power generation from renewable sources. EDP won a concession to build and operate this facility on the Tua River for 75 years.

The consortium includes Andritz Hydro, EFACEC Engenharia and SMM-Sociedade de Montagens Metalo-mecanicas. Equipment to be provided includes two 120 MW reversible pump-turbines, cylindrical gates, motor-generators, governors and control systems, hydromechanical equipment and auxiliary systems.

Semcon to renovate two stations for Fortum

Fortum, an energy company based in Finland, has selected Semcon to upgrade electrical and control equipment at two of its hydroelectric power stations in Sweden.

The Landafors and Viksjofors facilities — located on the Ljusnan and Voxnan rivers, respectively — will receive new designs, testing and commissioning of complete control systems. In addition, the company will supply new generator switchgear, low-voltage switchgear, battery systems, magnetizations and remote control equipment.

"The purpose of the renovations ... is to ensure safe and effective operations in the future," said Torgny Backlund, area manager for Fortum.

AF to manage expansion of Nant de Drance

Sweden's AF Group has received a contract to design and manage expansion of the proposed 628 MW Nant de Drance pumped-storage project in southwest Switzerland to 900 MW.

AF said the €15 million (US$20.2 million) contract is a follow-up order to a €27 million ($39 million) contract awarded in 2009 to AF Colenco, a subsidiary of the AF Group. The original contract called for providing engineering services for the project.

Following a decision to increase the capacity of the plant to 900 MW, AF was contracted to provide additional services in the areas of design, project management and construction. The project is scheduled to be operational in 2017.

Nant de Drance is under construction by Nant de Drance SA, a joint venture of energy provider Alpiq, federal railway group SBB and Forces Motrices Valaisannes.

The project is to utilize the height difference of two existing reservoirs — Emosson and Vieux Emosson, in Finhaut between Martigny and Chamonix — to produce about 1.5 TWh of peaking power each year. Access to the completely underground plant is to be by a 5 km tunnel, minimizing environmental effects.

Hydro development activity in the Philippines

SN Aboitiz Power commissioned the rehabilitated and expanded 105 MW Ambuklao project in October 2011 on the Agno River in the Philippines.

SN Aboitiz, a joint venture of Philippine power producer Aboitiz Power and Norway's Statkraft Norfund Power Invest (SN Power), acquired the 75 MW project in 2008 after it had been mothballed for eight years by National Power Corp., due to silt problems. SN Aboitiz won a 2007 auction offering US$325 million for Ambuklao and the 100 MW Binga project on the Agno (located 19 km from Ambuklao in Benguet Province on Luzon Island).

Ambuklao's rehabilitation included construction of a new intake and tailrace at higher elevations, installation of new electrical and mechanical equipment and erosion and gate repairs.

The developer also is planning two new hydro projects on Luzon, 150 to 180 MW Matuno in Nueva Vizcaya Province and a 110 to 120 MW Quezon project in Quezon Province.

Local news reports quoted Chief Executive, Emmanuel Rubio, as saying the two projects are to be completed in the next five to seven years. National Power Corp. previously studied Matuno, while Quezon is still in the early stages.

Rubio said Matuno would serve as upstream storage for the existing 360 MW Magat hydro project that SN Aboitiz acquired in a 2006 privatization auction for $530 million. Matuno was called an integral part of a Magat expansion program, possibly to 540 MW. Australia's SMEC received a contract in January for feasibility studies of a pumped-storage addition to Magat, on the Magat River.

French utility awards contract for 94 MW Gavet

Electricite de France (EDF) has awarded a contract to Campenon Bernard Regions for construction of intake works of the 94 MW Gavet project on the Romanche River in eastern France.

Campenon Bernard Regions of France is to construct an intake at Livet to divert water at a rate of 41 m3/sec. Other work to be performed includes an access road, temporary dewatering works, preparation of the gallery for arrival of a tunnel-boring machine and connection to the underground gallery, fish passage and bank protection.

Construction of Gavet, in Isere Department, is part of a five-year investment plan.

Gavet is to include a diversion dam, 10 km underground conduit and an underground power plant with two 47 MW units utilizing flows of 41 m3/sec and a head of 270 meters.

Hydro project development advancing in Peru

A consortium of Italy's Astaldi SpA and GyM-Grana y Montero S.A. of Peru has received contracts to construct the 510 MW Cerro del Aguila and 98 MW Santa Teresa projects in Peru.

Kallpa Generacion, a Peruvian subsidiary of Inkia Energy, awarded a US$680 million contract to the joint venture to carry out Cerro del Aguila, in Huancavelica Department, on an engineering-procurement-construction basis. Cerro del Aguila includes a 380,000 m3 concrete dam, an underground powerhouse, 9 km of tunnels and 60 km of access roads. The work is expected to take four years.

Peruvian distributor Luz del Sur also awarded a €70 million ($94.9 million) contract to Astaldi and GyM to carry out civil works of Santa Teresa in Peru's Machu Picchu Region.

Based on a final design of Santa Teresa by engineer MWH, Astaldi and GyM are to build an underground powerhouse and 6 km of tunnels. The work is to require 30 months and is scheduled for completion in 2014.

In addition, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) has approved a $150 million loan to help finance construction of the 406 MW Chaglla project on Peru's Huallaga River.

IADB said in December 2010 that its non-sovereign guaranteed loan is to be coupled with a syndicated loan from international commercial banks for a total loan of about $400 million for the $1.2 billion project. Additionally, it is expected that Brazil's Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES), will participate in the long-term debt package with a loan of $323 million.

IADB granted the loan to Empresa de Generacion Huallaga SA, a subsidiary of Odebrecht Energia SA, a unit of Brazil's Odebrecht Group. Peru's energy and mines ministry signed a definitive concession contract with Empresa de Generacion Huallaga to build the plant. Commissioning is scheduled for January 2016.

The IADB loan also is to help finance construction of related infrastructure including a transmission line connecting to the national grid, access roads and other ancillary facilities.

Alstom received a $108 million contract in September 2010 to supply the complete electromechanical package for the project, which includes a powerhouse with two vertical Francis turbines of 225 MW each, generators, and electrical and mechanical auxiliary systems. The second largest hydro project in Peru, Chaglla is expected to produce 2,545 GWh annually, representing about 15% of the projected national electricity demand for 2016.

Nickel producer inaugurates Karebbe in Indonesia

PT International Nickel Indonesia Tbk. (PT Inco) has inaugurated the 90 MW Karebbe project on the Larona River in Indonesia. PT Inco, owned by Brazil's Companhia Vale do Rio Doce through Canada's Inco Ltd., plans to use Karebbe to provide most of the power for its ore processing plant at Sorowako.

PT Inco also announced plans to invest significantly in Indonesia over five years to increase annual nickel production to 120,000 metric tons from the current 73,000.

With the launch of the US$410 million Karebbe project, PT Inco committed to increase the amount of power it supplies to local communities by 3 MW to a total of 8 MW.

Croatian utility receives loan for 68 MW Ombla facility

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is giving Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP) a loan worth US$166 million for construction of the Ombla hydropower plant. The 68 MW facility will not only improve Croatia's energy security, it also will increase the supply of potable water to the city of Dubrovnik.

The bank will work with HEP to ensure that the project complies with Croatian environmental standards and other directives established by the EU. The proceeds of the EBRD loan will not be disbursed until HEP has completed a satisfactory study and biodiversity management plan. The loan is structured under EBRD's A/B loan scheme and stipulates that financing to HEB includes $108 million for the bank's account, with the remaining $58 million to be syndicated to commercial banks.

African bank helps fund Cameroon's Lom Pangar

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a US$71.1 million loan to Cameroon to help finance the 56 MW Lom Pangar project.

Cameroon utility Electricity Development Corp., awarded a $16.2 million contract in January 2010 to France's Coyne et Bellier to manage construction of the $419.2 million project in the Sanaga River Basin.

The project includes the 46 meter-tall Lom Pangar Dam, a reservoir of 540 km2 and storage of 6 billion m3, transformer stations, and transmission and distribution lines. In addition to generating its own electricity, Lom Pangar is expected to control flows to increase generation of downstream projects, 396 MW Song Loulou, 263 MW Edea and proposed 330 MW Nachtigal.

AfDB noted the strategic importance of the project to Cameroon and the sub-region because Lom Pangar will maximize the hydropower potential of the Sanaga River by more than 5,000 MW. The project is jointly financed by AfDB, the World Bank, European Investment Bank, Development Bank of Central African States and French Development Agency.

European bank lends Macedonia funds to build 70 MW Boskov Most project

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has agreed to lend €65 million (US$88.4 million) to Macedonia for construction of the 70 MW Boskov Most project in western Macedonia.

The government of Macedonia plans to seek bids for design and construction of Boskov Most on the Mala Reka River. The government invited applications for pre-qualification in 2007 to build Boskov Most (also spelled Boshkov Most) on a build-operate-transfer basis near Debar.

EBRD extended the loan to state-owned utility AD Elektrani na Makedonija (Elem). The loan is complemented by €340,000 ($462,553) in grant financing from EBRD's Shareholder Special Fund for technical and environmental due diligence.

The project is to include a stone dam, diversion channels, a tunnel, pipeline and powerhouse. With funding from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, a 2003 feasibility study of the then 45 MW project recommended it be increased in capacity to 70 MW and be redesigned as a peaking plant.

EBRD said construction of Boskov Most will enable Macedonia to reduce electricity imports and cut the country's carbon intensity by 95,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Andean bank finances upgrade of 10.3 GW Simon Bolivar installation

The Andean development corporation has approved a US$380 million loan to upgrade six units of the 10,300 MW Simon Bolivar project on Venezuela's Caroni River.

President Enrique Garcia of Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF) said the lender approved funding for Venezuela's Corporacion Electrica Nacional (Corpolec) in parallel with financing for the upgrade work from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). In 2010, IADB announced a $700 million loan to help replace the six turbine-generators, which have been operating for 50 years at the plant, located at Guri Dam. The work is to replace the units with more efficient technology and implement complementary works, eventually expanding the plant's total capacity by 795 MW. The world's third largest hydro complex, Simon Bolivar supplies nearly 45% of Venezuela's electricity.

Corpolec unit CVG Electrificacion del Caroni (Edelca) awarded a fourth modernization contract to Alstom Hydro in 2009 for refurbishment of generators at Simon Bolivar.

 
Edelca is working to upgrade six units at its 10,300 MW Simon Bolivar project on the Caroni River in Venezuela.

India sees large quantity of hydro development work

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved loans of up to US$350 million for transmission system upgrades to interconnect hydropower resources being developed in India's Himachal Pradesh State.

With five major rivers, Himachal Pradesh holds about one-fourth of India's potential hydropower resources. Projects being developed in the state include 450 MW Shongtong Karcham, 100 MW Tidong 1, 1,000 MW Karcham Wangtoo, 195 MW Kashang 1-3, 100-MW Sainj and 800 MW Parbati 2.

ADB's board of directors approved a multi-tranche financing facility for the Himachal Pradesh Clean Energy Transmission Investment Program with a first investment of $113 million. The first tranche loan has a 25-year term, a grace period of five years and interest determined in accordance with ADB's LIBOR-based lending facility. Remaining funds are to be disbursed in two more tranches through 2014. Himachal Pradesh State is to provide counterpart funds of nearly $88 million for a total program investment of about $438 million.

In other Indian development news, KSK Energy Ventures Ltd. of India and Russian designer JSC Institute Hydroproject have agreed to the main parameters of a downsized 1,800 MW Subansiri Upper project to be built on the Subansiri River.

Project capacity was reduced to 1,800 MW based on KSK's financial analysis, which confirmed that to be the optimal capacity for minimal electricity rates. Subansiri Upper is to include a 237 meter-tall roller- compacted-concrete dam, powerhouse with six 300 MW turbine-generators, two shaft spillways of total discharge capacity of 3,600 m3/sec and bank spillway chutes with discharge capacity of 7,000 m3/sec with a flow jet to the river channel. Design of the project is scheduled to be completed in February 2012 for submission to the India government.

Finally, hydro developers NHPC Ltd., and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (SJVN) have established a joint venture with India's Manipur State to develop 1,500 MW Tipaimukh on the Barak River in Manipur.

Officials of the two government-owned hydro developers and the northeastern India state signed a promoter's agreement in October 2010 for setting up the joint venture. NHPC is to have 69% of the venture, with SJVN having 26% and Manipur 5%.

Tipaimukh is proposed to be a multi-purpose storage project with the main objective to annually generate some 3,800 GWh. It also would moderate flooding of downstream areas. Construction is expected to require 87 months.

IHA emphasizes sustainability in COP17 discussion

The International Hydropower Association took part in three events at the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC), with hopes of addressing hydro-related issues in front of a global audience.

COP17 is, according to IHA, an "opportunity for world decision-makers to make positive steps towards addressing the interrelated challenges of climate change, poverty reduction and sustainable development." IHA participated in three discussions.

The event's goal was to emphasize the importance of prioritizing low-carbon investments in sustainable water infrastructure, according to IHA Program Director Cameron Ironside. "Sustainable water infrastructure is critical to global water security," Ironside said. "That's where the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol has much to offer in helping to inform policy."

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol is a comprehensive tool that assesses the sustainability of hydroelectric projects based on a number of topics, including their social, economic and environmental impacts. Downstream flow regimes, indigenous peoples, biodiversity, infrastructure safety, resettlement, water quality, erosion and sedimentation are also examined.

An IHA panel has conducted the first sustainability assessment of a hydroelectric project, Australia's 95.8-MW Trevallyn project, using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.

Trevallyn, which is operated by IHA Sustainability Partner Hydro Tasmania, was commissioned in 1955 on the South Esk River of the island state. A dam diverts water from the South Esk through a 3.2 km tunnel to a run-of-river hydro plant that then discharges into the Tamar River.

Because the protocol's systems are still being developed and assessors are being trained, the assessment was classed as unofficial. Upon completion, an unofficial sustainability assessment report is to be made available to interested stakeholders and used as part of IHA's training course for its Sustainability Partners.

Ingram promoted, staff added to PennWell's hydro group

Elizabeth Ingram has been promoted to senior editor of the hydro group for PennWell, while Michael Harris and Chris Greer have joined the group as online editor and associate editor, respectively.

Ingram will be responsible for guiding editorial content for Hydro Review magazine, the HydroWorld.com website and HydroVision International conference. She also will assist with content development for HRW-Hydro Review Worldwide.

Harris will write news stories and other content for HydroWorld.com website and compile the group's two weekly e-newsletters, HydroWorld Weekly and HydroWorld Weekly Premium Content.

Greer will develop editorial content for Hydro Review and HRW-Hydro Review Worldwide magazines, as well as the HydroVision International conference.

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