Portugal utility wins auctions for 256-MW Fridao, 136-MW Alvito

Utility Energias de Portugal (EDP) said July 17 it won a concession auction to build and operate the 256-MW Fridao and 136-MW Alvito hydroelectric projects in Portugal.

EDP said it bid 161.7 million euros (US$255.8 million) on top of the base price of 70 million euros (US$110.7 million) in the auction by Portugal’s water agency, Instituto da Agua (Inag). (HNN 5/5/08)

The Portuguese utility beat bids by Spanish companies Endesa, Iberdrola, and Union Fenosa for the Fridao concession on the Tamega River in the Douro River Basin. There were no other bids for Alvito, on the Ocreza River in the Tejo River Basin.

EDP said development of Fridao and Alvito would require total investments of 510 million euros (US$807.2 million). The projects are expected to go on line in 2016, EDP said. The concessions are for 65 years.

EDP said Fridao would require an investment of 242 million euros (US$383 million). Its installed capacity is higher than the original 163-MW reference capacity defined in Portugal’s national dams plan. It said the higher capacity was due to inclusion of a stabilization dam downstream with significant pumping potential.

Alvito is to require an investment of 268 million euros (US$424 million). Its installed capacity is higher than the original 48 MW in the dams plan because it will have pumping capacity taking advantage of the 42-MW Pracana hydro project reservoir, operated by EDP downstream.

They are among ten new projects, and five hydro project expansions, included in Portugal’s national program of dams with high hydropower potential, Programa Nacional de Barragens com Elevado Potencial Hidroelectrico. Portugal wants to build the new dams by 2020 and boost hydroelectric capacity to 7,000 MW from 4,950 MW.

Earlier this month, Spanish utility Iberdrola was top bidder for a concession to operate four hydroelectric projects on Portugal’s Alto Tamega River. (HNN 7/4/08)

Final award of the concessions is subject to confirmation by Inag as well as pending environmental approvals.

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