Small Hydro

India’s Assam State planning massive small hydro expansion

A partnership between the Assam Power Project Development Company Ltd. and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. could create as many as 149 new small hydropower projects, Indian sources report.

APPDCL has already begun construction on several of the projects, including 4.7 MW Bordikorai, 3 MW Pahumara, 9 MW Disang, 3 MW Kalanga I and II, and 1.6 MW Dronpara. A timetable for the development of the other projects was not specified.

Aboitiz Power expanding hydro portfolio with two new facilities

Filipino management and investment group Aboitiz Power Corp. says it plans to construct two run-of-river plants: 16.4 MW Sita and 11.8 MW Simod. The plants will be built on the Sita and Simod rivers near Kitaotao in Bukidnon Province.

The Philippine Information Agency says the company is the country’s largest hydropower producer, with 38.2 MW of capacity at 15 small hydropower sites.

Aboitiz Power Corp. plans to build two hydro projects on the Sita and Simod rivers, such as this one, in the Philippines’ Bukidnon Province.

Design consultant picked for Jamaica’s Black River project

Global development consultancy Mott MacDonald has been selected as designer and technical advisor by Kier Construction Limited for a US$27 million project. The hydro facility, on the Black River in Jamaica’s St. Elizabeth parish, was constructed in the late 1950s with a 6.3 MW capacity that will be doubled during this round of repairs and upgrades.

The project is owned by the Jamaica Public Service Company. Work will include the construction of a new intake, alteration of the existing weir, doubling the number of existing pipelines and construction of a new powerhouse with two horizontal axis Francis turbines.

Mott MacDonald will design all the components in addition to providing hydraulic analysis and flood risk assessment for the expansion. Kier Construction was awarded the project’s development contract in December 2011.

Group to stimulate development with new support program

A program created by the Global Village Energy Partnership International aims to jumpstart small hydroelectric development in Tanzania.

GVEP says one of the biggest obstacles facing hydropower developers in Tanzania is a lack of financing, so the group is collaborating with the World Bank and Tanzania’s Rural Energy Agency to implement its new “Pre-Investment Technical Support” program.

The program will help developers complete feasibility studies, business plans, and environmental and social impact assessments, all of which, GVEP notes, can be costly and time-consuming. GVEP’s support will also enable developers to access subsidies through the REA and secure loans from local banks, the organization says.

GVEP and the REA are collaborating to assist six small hydropower developers. The six projects will have a combined capacity of about 7.5 MW and will be located in Tanzania’s Mbeya, Iringa, Ruvuma, Arusha and Kigoma regions. Most will be isolated mini-grids not connected to the country’s national transmission network.

“This will help more Tanzanians access energy and create economic opportunities,” says GVEP Regional Manager James Wakaba. “In addition, projects will help reduce global warming, earn carbon credits and create sustainable energy businesses with project development capability.”

Minerco to liquidate Honduran hydropower plant

Renewable energy developer Minerco Resources Inc. announces it will sell its 4 MW Iscan plant in Honduras.

Minerco acquired the facility in January 2011 from Energetica de Occidente S.A. de C.V. (Enercosa). In exchange for full control of the then-uncompleted plant, Enercosa received 1 million shares of Minerco stock in two installments.

The Houston-based company says the project will have an estimated annual return of 30% with an initial capital expenditure of $50,000 to $100,000.

Minerco President V. Scott Vanis says the company is selling the Iscan plant to concentrate more on development of the 6 MW Chiligatoro hydro plant.

CAF, Sao Paulo teaming up for small hydropower study

The Andean Development Corporation and the governor of Brazil’s Sao Paulo state have recently signed an agreement that will provide non-reimbursable funds for the research and evaluation of small hydro plants.

The agreement, signed by corporation representative Moira Paz Estenssoro and Sao Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin, is meant to determine the potential for expansion at existing sites and to identify others for new development. This information will then be used by state officials in their policymaking decisions, says Estenssoro. ADC says it is specifically researching the expansion and development of small hydroelectric plants because they are the most economically feasible option for Sao Paulo communities and the least environmentally intrusive.

Kemijoki Oy picks Metso for automation system work

Finnish electric utility Kemijoki Oy has selected technology supplier Metso for automation work at two hydro plants. Three turbine automation systems at the 17 MW Inkeroinen facility and one at the 20 MW Anjalankosi plant will be replaced, Metso says.

Inkeroinen was built in the 1920s and renovated last in 1994, while Anjalankoski was built in 1983. Both plants supply power to the national grid.

Kemijoki Oy owns 20 hydropower plants, which combine for a capacity of more than 1,000 MW.

Nicaragua working to advance 2.5 MW Montecristo

Nicaragua’s electric utility plans to hire a consultant to design and to prepare tender documents for construction of the 2.5 MW Montecristo hydro project in San Sabastian de Yali, Jinotega Department.

With funding from international lenders for a national program for sustainable electrification and renewable energy, Nicaragua recruited consultants in February to design and prepare tender documents for five small hydro projects in Nicaragua’s Region Autonoma del Atlantico Norte.

Under the same program – Programa Nacional de Electrificacion Sostenible y Energia Renovable (PNESER) – utility Empresa Nicaraguense de Electricidad now seeks consultants to advance the Montecristo project. Work is to include geological, geotechnical, hydrological, technical, and economic studies; a feasibility study; detailed design; construction drawings; and tender documents.

Contracts awarded for two Czech Republic projects

Voith Hydro has signed a contract with Metrostav a.s. and Zakladani staveb a.s. as general contractor for electromechanical equipment at the 7 MW Steti station.

The project, which is being financed by Czech investor Energia o.p.s., is expected to be complete in July 2014. It will be located on the Labe (also called Elbe) River about 40 km north of Prague.

As per its contract, Voith Hydro will supply two 3.5 MW turbines, the associated control systems, transmissions for speed control, and synchronous generators. Each runner will have a diameter of 5.1 meters, and the company says the three-blade Kaplan bulb turbines will be the largest such units in Europe.

Financial details of the contract were not disclosed.

In addition, Sdruzenà­ firem MVE Roudnice nad Labem has been awarded a contract worth about US$11 million for work on the 4.2 MW Roudnice project.

As per the contract, Sdruzenà­ firem MVE Roudnice nad Labem will increase the plant’s flow capacity to 225 m3 per second, construct a canoe slalom course and fabricate a fish ladder.

Poland utility to replace turbines at three plants

Polish utility Tauron Ekoenergia sp. z.o.o. is preparing to replace the two turbine-generator units at the 2.94 MW Dabie project on Poland’s Vistula River, the two units at the 213 kW Bobrowice 2 plant on the Bobr River, and the two units at 4.8 MW Otmuchow on the Nysa Klodzka River.

The utility seeks to modernize equipment at Dabie, which was built in 1961 in Krakow. Work includes modernization of two Kaplan turbines, including runner replacement, for a total installed capacity of at least 3.1 MW. It also seeks replacement of automation equipment, switchgear, transformers, two submersible pumps, and intake screens. The work is expected to require 24 months with an estimated cost of more than PLN12 million (US$3.4 million).

The utility also seeks to modernize equipment at Bobrowice 2, which was built in 1932.

Work includes replacement of two turbines for a total installed capacity of at least 350 kW. The company also seeks replacement of the reactive power compensation system, adaptation of electrical infrastructure, and automatic control of power plants in the system after upgrade.

The work is expected to require 18 months with an estimated cost of more than PLN2 million (US$565,830).

Finally, the utility plans to modernize equipment at Otmuchow, which was built in 1933. Work includes replacement of Units TZ-1 and TZ-2 with 3 MW vertical Kaplan turbines, for a total installed capacity of 6 MW.

It also seeks a synchronous generator, excitation system, and an automation system. The work is expected to require 24 months with an estimated cost of more than PLN30 million (US$9.5 million).

Tauron Ekoenergia operates 35 hydro projects totaling 126 MW in three provinces of Poland.

Serbia prepares for 10 more small hydroelectric projects

Construction of 10 new small hydropower plants along Serbia’s Studenica and Ibar rivers will begin this summer, according to a release from the city of Kraljevo.

The run-of-river plants, which will have a total combined capacity of about 1 MW, will be built by Bosnia-based contractor Eling for a cost of about US$26.3 million. Construction permits are expected to be issued soon.

The country announced deals for another set of small hydropower plants in December 2011, and geotechnical work for Serbia’s Brodarevo 1 and 2 sites was completed earlier this year.

Albania looking to sell four plants to foreign investors

The Albanian government plans to sell four state-owned hydropower plants to private investors, according to information from the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy. The source says Albania is interested in selling its Bistrica 1 and 2, Ulez and Shkopet facilities – which have a combined total capacity of 80 MW – to one of three foreign investors.

Interested parties are Austrian utilities Verbund AG and EVN Group and French energy producer Compagnie Nationale du Rhone CNR.

The Ministry did not specify the monetary amount being sought for the four plants, although Austrian financial journal Wirtschaftsblatt reports the price would likely come to about US$1.25 million per MW.

Kosienergia Oy purchases 14 small hydro plants from Fortum

Energy producer Fortum says it has completed a deal that transferred ownership of 14 small hydropower plants to Kosienergia Oy effective March 30. The plants have a combined capacity of 22 MW and bring Kosienergia Oy’s total number of small hydro facilities to 30.

The transaction comes after Finland-based Fortum divested a 60% share of Killin Voima Oy in February, completing the company’s divestment of small hydropower plants in Finland.

“We are concentrating our operations to our power plants on the Vuoksi and Oulujoki water systems in Finland and to our holding in Kemijoki Oy,” says Fortum Renewable Energy Vice President Risto Andsten. “This will enable us to further improve the efficiency of these power plants.”

The transactions, valued at about US$59.5 million, will be booked in Fortum’s first quarter 2012 results, the company says.

Pakistan moving forward on development of 4.6 MW Naulong

Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority plans to hire a company to perform construction supervision of the 4.6 MW Naulong Dam project on the Mula River in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province.

The Naulong project is to include a 186 foot-tall, 2,996 foot-long zoned earthfill dam; 179 foot-tall, 1,574 foot-long zoned earthfill auxiliary dam; reservoir of a maximum 298,703,662 m3; and powerhouse of 4.6 MW and annual generation of 26.6 GWh.

Work is to include supervision of civil works construction and manufacture and supply of mechanical and electrical equipment. The work is expected to take 36 months.

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