EIB provides loan for Austrian pumped-storage hydropower project

Austria’s state-owned utility Illwerke AG has received a US$381 million loan from the European Investment Bank to support construction of the Obervermuntwerk 2 pumped-storage hydropower project according to a contract signed in Bregenz.

The 360 MW pumped-storage plant is designed to reduce network losses, EIB said, and will add balancing capacity to the network and provide additional regulating energy.

“Europe is dependent on a secure, efficient and flexible power supply,” EIB vice president Wilhelm Molterer said. “And the EIB sees this as one of the core goals of its financing. Obervermuntwerk 2 will play a key role in generating environmentally friendly power.”

The project will be Illwerke’s second-largest power station once put into operation in 2018. The plant is designed as an underground station between the Silvretta and Vermunt reservoirs parallel to the existing Obervermuntwerk project.

“We are pleased to have found a competent and reliable financing partner for our projects in the European Investment Bank,” Illwerke AG board member Christof Germann said.

HydroWorld.com reported in March that Illwerke had awarded Alstom a contract to supply two generators and exciters for the project, which will be located near Montafon.

Meanwhile, Voith was awarded a contract to supply and commission Obervermuntwerk 2’s storage pumps and hydraulic torque converters in February.

The EIB loan also included portions to help finance construction of the 13-MW Rellswerk hydropower plant and Burs substation.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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