Small Hydro

Company purchased to build 2 MW plant in Sri Lanka

Laugfs Power Limited acquired Pams Power (Private) Limited for LKR200 million (US$1.38 million) to build a 2 MW small hydropower in plant in Sri Lanka.

This transaction was announced in a corporate disclosure to the Colombo Stock Exchange. The disclosure stated Laugfs Power acquired the total issued shares of the company on Feb. 10.

Pams Power holds all rights for the development and operation of the facility, located in Kalaweldeniya, Polpitiya.

The plant is expected to cost LKR500 million ($3.45 million) to develop and is anticipated to be commissioned in early 2017. Expected annual generation is 7.18 GWh, to be supplied to the national grid.

Laugfs Power, a subsidiary of Laugfs Gas PLC, operates small hydro projects at Ranmudu Oya, Balangoda.

The Sri Lankan government is in the midst of ongoing efforts to reduce the country’s dependence on imported fuel by cultivating its hydroelectric power resources.

It says the economically feasible small hydro potential in the country is estimated to be 400 MW.

Enel enters Peru with 20 MW Ayanunga plant

Italian renewables developer Enel Green Power SpA is making its first foray into the Peruvian hydroelectric market through a 20-year energy supply contract with the country’s government.

The deal will see EGP subsidiary Enel Green Power Peru invest about US$400 million into a trio of renewable energy plants, which include the 20 MW Ayanunga hydropower project.

The hydropower project will be located in Peru’s central Huanunco Department and is expected to be in operation by 2018.

Enel Green Power won the supply tender through the Organismo Supervisor de la Inversion en Energia y Mineria (OSINERGMIN).

The energy and mining investments agency sought proposals in September for plants that would increase Peru’s small hydropower output by 450 GWh per year, reflecting the country’s efforts to increase its share of renewables up to 5% from the current 2% by 2018.

“These results also illustrate how renewable energy can be competitive with traditional generation even in geographies where its development is still in the early stages,” EGP Chief Executive Officer Francesco Venturini said. “Renewables provide diversification in a country’s energy mix, making the energy system more resilient and better focused on addressing the challenges posed by climate change.”

Transeastern acquires three small Romanian plants

Canadian financial group Transeastern Power Trust has signed a letter of intent to acquire three small hydropower projects in Romania.

Transeastern did not specify the names of the plants, but said the trio have a combined capacity of 3.65 MW and were all refurbished in recent years after more than two decades of operation.

The US$5.7 million purchase price will be payable as 50% in cash and 50% in Transeastern units at a deemed issuance price of $1.13 per unit, calculated in euros in accordance with the applicable exchange rate on the day immediately prior to the closing date.

“The proposed acquisitions of the hydro projects represent another critical milestone in the evolution of our company,” Transeastern Chief Executive Officer J. Colter Eadie said.

Terms of the deal are still subject to technical and legal due diligence, although Transeastern said it expects the acquisition to close by the end of April.

Voltalia to develop projects in Morocco

Less than a year after opening a subsidiary in Rabat, the capital city of Morocco in Western Sahara, Voltalia SA filed authorization applications to develop four hydroelectric power plants for a total installed capacity of 40 MW.

Financial details of the deal and specific site locations were not disclosed. The applications were filed in early February.

Voltalia is a renewable electricity producer out of Paris, France, that also has offices in Greece, Brazil and French Guiana.

According to the company, it develops, builds, operates and owns power stations and with regard to hydroelectricity said, “Voltalia concentrates on small and medium sized hydroelectric power plants installed ‘on the fly,’ without an artificial reservoir of important accumulation, which distinguishes from large dams.”

The company operates the 4.5 MW Mana River station in French Guiana and is beginning construction on a 7.5 MW plant on the north coast of Brazil in the city of Oiapoque on the Oiapoque River. The plant is expected to be commissioned in 2021.

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Small Hydro

Meralco, REDC enter joint venture for development in Philippines

The Manila Electric Co. and Repower Energy Development Corp. have signed a joint venture to develop small run-of-river hydropower projects in the Philippines.

REDC, which already has more than 100 MW worth of micro hydroelectric capacity in development, said it expects the deal to save more than US$40 million annually in reduced fossil fuel costs, while also providing a guaranteed income for 20 years under the country’s feed-in tariff scheme.

“Our wide experience in working with sustainable energy sources has allowed us to maximize its potential through our long-term approach of using best of breed international technologies, combined with local excellence in deployments,” REDC executive Dexter Tiu said.

The partnership marks Meralco’s first foray into the hydro sector, though the utility has already expanded to other renewables, including wind and solar.

The companies did not elaborate on details about specific proposed projects, but said they anticipate breaking ground on the first plants this year, with the initial wave coming on line in 2019.

Buffett-financed 13.8 MW plant opens in DRC

A 13.8 MW hydropower plant financed by American philanthropist Howard G. Buffett is now delivering much needed electricity to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province.

Located in the town of Matebe, the unnamed US$19.7 million small hydroelectric project is one of three in the province to be bankrolled by the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation has also pledged an additional $29 million toward the other two plants, with Belgium and the European Union also contributing.

Buffett’s efforts are part of his initiative to help develop DRC – where less than 16% of the population has access to electricity, contributing heavily to the country’s rank amongst the lowest on the United Nations’ Human Development Index.

IFC takes tea with hydro

A US$55 million loan from the International Finance Corporation will help the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) power its processing factories through the construction of seven small hydropower plants.

Arranged in partnership with the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, development agency PROPARCO and The Netherlands Development Finance Company FMO, the new hydroelectric projects will have a cumulative capacity of about 16 MW.

KTDA is a significant employer, operating 65 tea processing factories that source goods from 350,000 farmers. The farmers also act as company shareholders.

Hundreds of small projects under construction in southeast Europe

In southeast Europe, there are 1,355 greenfield hydropower plants either being planned or having entered operation since 2005, according to a recently released report.

Potential total generating capacity of the plants was not disclosed, although many of them are less than 10 MW.

Of these, 200 are in operation and 113 are under construction. The report indicates 823 projects are actively planned and another 171 are regarded as potential.

For purposes of this report – entitled Financing for Hydropower in Protected Areas in Southeast Europe – countries in southeast Europe include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece (northern), Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

A total of more than 1,800 projects were screened, with 1,355 identified as greenfield. The report provides country profiles. Albania contains 583 of the screened hydropower projects, Bosnia and Herzegovina have 278, Bulgaria 187, Croatia 157, northern Greece six, Kosovo 107, Macedonia 206, Montenegro 143, Serbia 88, and Slovenia with 102 hydropower plants.

In this region, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has supported at least 51 greenfield plants with about €240 million. Other banks involved include the European Investment Bank (five plants, about €437 million and 19 small and mini plants, about €22 million), and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (22 plants, monetary value not disclosed).

Concerns outlined in the report include “rampant corruption and inadequate nature protection” and the fact that almost half of the planned projects are in protected areas.

The report was prepared by CEE Bankwatch Network as part of the Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign. It contains recommendations to multilateral development banks; commercial banks, export credit agencies and national development banks; national governments of countries in the region; the European Commission; the European Commission and energy community; and non-governmental organizations.

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