First unit of Mexico’s 750-MW El Cajon commissioned

Turbine manufacturer OJSC Power Machines reports it put into commercial operation the first 375-MW unit of the 750-MW El Cajon hydroelectric project on Mexico’s Santiago River.

Power Machines said March 2 it completed 200-hour testing and commissioned the unit on time. The project is being built in Nayarit State by a consortium of Mexican construction company Ingenieros Civiles Asociados, Constructora Internacional de Infraestructura, Promotora Inversora Visa, La Peninsular Compania Constructura, and Energomachexport Power Machines.

Power Machines said the two 375-MW units are the most powerful ever supplied to foreign hydropower plants by the Russian manufacturer. Power Machines said the second unit is scheduled for commissioning by May 31.

The supplier said the generators have improved technical characteristics. In particular, it said, the customer, national utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), requested the generator voltage be increased to 17 kilovolts, compared to the usual 15.75 kV. It said each generator is rated at 375 MW, with a maximum capacity of 416.7 MW. They have a frame diameter of 13.8 meters and a height of 4.4 meters.

CFE previously said the turnkey contract is valued at US$748 million, with Power Machines supplying all electro-mechanical and auxiliary equipment for a US$140 million share.

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