Mexico’s 750-MW El Cajon begins full operation

Turbine manufacturer OJSC Power Machines put the second 375-MW unit of the 750-MW El Cajon hydroelectric project into commercial operation on June 1 on Mexico’s Santiago River.

Power Machines said it completed 200-hour testing and commissioned the unit. The first unit went into operation in February. (HNN 3/14/07)

El Cajon 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.

Commercial service of the plant is to be supervised by Power Machines until August 31, the date of job completion. Power Machines said the two 375-MW units are the most powerful ever supplied to foreign hydropower plants by the Russian manufacturer.

The supplier previously 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.

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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