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    Ghana's 399 MW Bui plant completed

    A ceremony that included Ghanaian president John Dramani Mahama marked the official commissioning of the country's 399 MW Bui project in mid-December.

    The US$800 million project was constructed by China's Sinohydro Corporation on the Black Volta River, with funding provided by the governments of Ghana and China. The project is intended to help alleviate some of Ghana's energy deficiencies, with Mahama earlier saying he hoped the country can increase its overall energy capacity to 6,000 MW by 2015.

    Project developer the Bui Power Authority (BPA) received the first of three 133 MW turbine-generator units in January 2012, and it began generating power at the site in May 2013.

    A 399 MW powerhouse at the newly constructed Bui Dam began operating in December. The project is intended to help alleviate energy deficiencies in Ghana.
    A 399 MW powerhouse at the newly constructed Bui Dam began operating in December. The project is intended to help alleviate energy deficiencies in Ghana.

    Alstom wins contracts for Gilbao in Israel

    Alstom has signed several contracts with PSP Investment Ltd. to provide equipment and operation and maintenance services for Israel's 300 MW Gilboa.

    Per a US$163.2 million contract, Alstom will provide two 150 MW pump-turbines, associated balance of plant equipment and control systems. Alstom also signed a deal to provide day-to-day operation and maintenance services for the plant for an 18 year period.

    Gilboa will be Israel's first pumped-storage hydroelectric plant when it is commissioned in 2018, and it is expected to increase the country's installed power supply by about 2.5%.

    Mexico's 750 MW La Yesca plant receives $147 million

    Mexican construction firm ICA has been granted $147 million for additional work at the 750 MW La Yesca hydropower project.

    The funds were granted as "a partial settlement for the extra work performed on the project" that was completed last year, according to a statement by ICA. An additional $1.04 billion was granted last year to the company by the Mexican government when the project was completed.

    The project, on the Santiago River, includes a 210 meter-tall concrete-faced rockfill dam, a basin of 12 million m3, and an underground powerhouse containing two 375 MW turbine-generator units supplied by Power Machines of Russia.

    Owned by Mexico's Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), the facility's construction began in 2008. Its development was reported as a part of CFE's plan to increase the country's generating capacity by 27 GW to a total 69,000 MW by December 2016.

    First unit at Pakistan's 130 MW Duber Khwar generating power

    The first unit of the 130 MW Duber Khwar plant in Pakistan is now sending power to the country's national grid, according to project officials.

    This 65 MW Pelton-type turbine supplied by Andritz Hydro Austria was undergoing tests in early January, and the second is to be commissioned soon, the Water and Power Development Authority says. The project was built in a period of just eight months as part of the "Empower Pakistan" initiative.

    Duber Khwar is on the Duber Khwar River, a tributary of the Indus River in the Khyber Pahktoon-khawa province.

    Power Machines to outfit 140 MW Kigi in Turkey

    Power Machines OJSC has signed a contract with DSI to provide equipment for the 140 MW Kigi hydro project in Turkey's Elazig province.

    Power Machines is to produce and deliver electrical and mechanical equipment, including three 46.6 MW turbines with pre-turbine gate valves, three generators of the same capacity, switchgear, and all other equipment for the turbine hall.

    Commissioning of the plant is expected to take place in 2016.

    USA considers financing Congo's 4,200 MW Inga 3

    The USA is considering an investment into the Democratic Republic of Congo's 4,200 MW Inga 3 hydro project, wire services report. Financing could come from the U.S. government's "Power Africa" program, which does not currently include Congo amongst six sub-Saharan countries as part of the plan.

    Officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development and Congo government are reported to have met in Kinshasa in mid-December to discuss the Inga 3 project.

    Inga 3 is part of Congo's 40 GW Grand Inga project, which is being developed in phases. Congo and South Africa signed a power-purchase agreement in December 2012. DRC said it hopes to begin construction of Inga 3 by October 2015.

    THDC awards contract for 444 MW Vishnugad Pipalkoti

    India's Hindustan Construction Company has won an engineering, procurement and construction contract from THDC for the 444 MW Vishnugad Pipalkoti project.

    The US$260 million deal includes the construction of a number of civil works, including a 65 meter-tall concrete gravity dam, surge shaft, pressure shaft, underground powerhouse, surge tank, headrace and tailrace.

    The country's National Board for Wildlife granted the project clearance in February 2013. Work on the run-of-river project on the Alaknanda River, a major tributary to the Ganga, is expected to take about 54 months.

    Litostroj Power to provide equipment for Brezice plant

    Litostroj Power d.o.o. has been awarded a €36.5 million (US$50.2 million) contract to supply equipment for the 41.5 MW Brezice hydro project in Slovenia.

    The project on the Sava River is being developed by Hidroelektrarne na Spodnji Savi (HESS d.o.o.). Brezice is one of five hydro projects being developed by the company and its parent utility, Holding Slovenske Elektrarne d.o.o. (HSE) on the lower Sava. The others are the 32.5 MW Bostanj and the 42.5 MW Arto-Blanca, which are now operating; 39.5 MW Krsko, being completed; and 30.5 MW Mokrice, in planning.

    Equipment to be supplied by Litostroj Power includes three Kaplan turbines and synchronous generators, controllers and excitation systems, cooling systems, a compressed air system, water level measurement system, bridge crane, ancillary equipment, and spare parts. The work is expected to take 45 months.

    Scotland plans to develop Choire Ghlais project

    Plans for the 600 MW Choire Ghlais pumped-storage project have been given the go-ahead by Scottish Minister of Energy Fergus Ewing, opening the door for a plant that could eventually supply as much as 10% of the country's peak electricity demand.

    Developer Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) Renewables gained unanimous support for Choire Ghlais (also called "Coire Glas") from the Scottish Highland Council in November 2012 after filing an application in February of that year.

    Ewing's approval gives SSE planning permission. Work on the project is expected to take up to six years and will create a projected 150 jobs.

    Eighth unit operating at RusHydro's Boguchanskaya

    The eighth hydroelectric generating unit at JSC RusHydro's Boguchanskaya plant began operating on December 30. This brings total installed capacity of all operating units to 1,998 MW, with a working capacity based on reservoir level of 1,362 MW.

    The first seven 333 MW units were put into operating during 2012 and 2013. Preparation of the final unit for testing is currently under way. Each unit was manufactured by Power Machines at a cost of US$117.3 million.

    The 3,000 MW Boguchanskaya project, now under construction on the Angara River in Russia, is operating eight of its nine turbine-generator units.
    The 3,000 MW Boguchanskaya project, now under construction on the Angara River in Russia, is operating eight of its nine turbine-generator units.

    From January to November 2013, the Boguchanskaya powerhouse supplied 4,367 GWh of electricity to the wholesale and capacity market, RusHydro says.

    Development of Boguchanskaya, on the Angara River in Russia's Krasnoyarsk Region, is a 50/50 joint venture of RusHydro and Russian aluminum company UC RUSAL.

    Water impoundment begins at Cambodia's lower Russei Chrum Krom plant

    Development progresses on Cambodia's 338 MW Russei Chrum Krom hydropower project as water is now being impounded at the complex's lower reservoir, according to the China Gezhouba (Group) Corporation.

    The plant's 206 MW upper station was put into operation in 2013 and includes a 124 meter-tall concrete-faced-rockfill dam. Meanwhile, the lower station, which has a capacity of 132 MW, includes a 58.5 meter-tall roller-compacted-concrete gravity dam. Russei Chrum Krom's upper and lower plants are located about 8 km from each other.

    Nine banks financing Chile's 531 MW Alto Maipo

    Developer AES Gener has received US$1.217 billion in funding from a syndicate of local and international banks for the construction of Chile's 531 MW Alto Maipo project. Contributing to the financing are the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), International Finance Corporation (IFC), CorpBanca, Banco de Credito e Inversiones, Banco Itau Chile, Banco del Estado de Chile, KfW Ipex-Bank GmbH and DNB Bank ASA.

    "The execution of this funding agreement is a milestone of great relevance in the development of the project," AES Gener General Manager Luis Felipe Ceron said.

    Alto Maipo includes two hydropower plants: 264 MW Alfalfal 2 and the 267 MW Las Lajas. The Alfalfal 2 project will be located in the Colorado River sub-basin downstream from Alfalfal 1, and Las Lajas will be located near the confluence of the Maipo River and El Manzano marsh.

    Work moving forward on projects in Peru

    The Bank of New York Mellon has appointed Mott MacDonald as independent engineer to monitor construction of the 406 MW Chaglla project. The US$1.2 billion plant is being developed on the Huallaga River by Empresa de Generacion Huallaga S.A., a subsidiary of Brazil's Odebrecht Group.

    The Chaglla complex, to be completed by 2016, includes a 400 MW main power and a 6 MW auxiliary plant, in addition to a 202 meter-long concrete-faced rockfill dam that will form a 466 hectare reservoir. A surface powerhouse and diversion, spillway and headrace tunnels are also included.

    "This nationally significant project will impact Peru's economic development considerably by creating thousands of jobs and increasing its electric generation capacity to meet the needs of the country's rapidly growing economy," Mott MacDonald project director Clare Rhodes-James said. "Once completed, this project will be Peru's third-largest hydropower facility, providing approximately 13% of the country's installed hydropower."

    In other news, Peru's Ministry of Energy and Mines has granted temporary concessions for a pair of hydropower project proposals in the country's Cusco department.

    Included in the recent resolution are an unnamed 49.7 MW plant being developed by Empresa de Generacion Electrica Ccollpani and the 62.1 MW Vilcanota 4 being developed by Empresa de Generacion Electrica Santa Maria. The companies filed their concession requests in March and July of 2013, respectively, and now have 24 months to carry out feasibility studies.

    China's Xiangjiaba awarded Project of the Year

    China's 6,400 MW Xiangjiaba plant was recognized by the editors of Power Engineering and RenewableEnergyWorld.com as the 2013 Hydro Project of the Year during the recent Power Generation Week conference and exhibition held in Orlando.

    Work on the US$6.3 billion project, on the Jinshajiang River between Tibin and Shifu counties in the Yunnan Province, began in November 2006. Xiangjiaba was developed by China Three Gorges Corporation and outfitted by Alstom, which was awarded the contract in 2008. The first unit went into commercial operation in November 2012, with the last being commissioned in July.

    Xiangjiaba is the third largest hydroelectric facility in China, trailing only 22,500 MW Three Gorges and 13,860 MW Xiluodu. (For more information on Xiangjiaba, look for an article in the March-April issue of HRW-Hydro Review Worldwide.)

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