UPDATE – Portugal utility seeks bids for 170-MW Baixo Sabor

Utility Energias de Portugal (EDP) seeks bids to build the 170-MW Baixo Sabor hydroelectric project on the Sabor River in northern Portugal. Bids are due January 31, 2008.

EDP Chief Executive Antonio Mexia announced plans to launch the tender after Economy Minister Manuel Pinho said the European Commission withdrew its environmental opposition to the 354 million euro (US$484 million) project. (HNN 9/3/07)

The solicitation includes all civil construction featuring a 123-meter-tall double arch dam, a 45-meter-tall gravity dam, and a powerhouse containing two turbine-generators.

“It will start functioning at the end of 2012, or start of 2013,” Mexia said.

Bid documents in digital format may be obtained from the address below for 2,500 euros (US$3,460) in cash or crossed check to EDP – Gestao da Producao de Energia SA.

Bids, in Portuguese are due by 5 p.m. January 31, 2008. For information, contact EDP – Gestao da Producao de Energia SA, Rua do Bolhao, 36, 3 Andar, Attn.: Antonio Abreu Aguiar, Director de Projecto, P-4000-111 Porto, Portugal; (351) 22-0013214; Fax: (351) 22-0013509; E-mail: antonioabreu.aguiar@edp.pt; Internet: www.edp.pt.

Although the project was planned in 1994, environmentalist opposition delayed construction on what opponents said was the country’s last undisturbed river. It is part of a previously announced EDP plan to invest 2.5 billion euros (US$3.4 billion) in hydroelectric power by 2016. (HNN 7/31/06)

“The European Commission has decided to archive the complaint against the Baixo Sabor Dam,” Pinho said August 29. “The kick-off for this dam represents the unblocking of a situation that has lasted ten years.”

Earlier this year, Pinho said the government would present a plan by the end of 2007 to boost hydroelectric power by building five new dams and hydropower projects. He said the government also intends to expand capacity at four existing dams. (HNN 6/19/07)

European bank considers funding Portugal’s Odelouca Dam

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is evaluating a proposal to help finance construction of Odelouca Dam, a water storage project on the Odelouca River in Portugal’s Faro District.

The total cost of the project is estimated at 90 million euros (US$122.6 million), of which EIB would pay half. The funding is under evaluation by the bank, which said an environmental impact assessment and an environmental management plan are expected to be developed, including proposed mitigation measures.

Portuguese water agency Aguas de Portugal, through its subsidiary, Aguas do Algarve, plans construction of the dam, to be 75 meters tall and 420 meters long, plus a temporary diversion, a 435-meter-long tunnel, and water intake and discharge structures. It would improve water supply in the Algarve Region, by supplying 50 million cubic meters of water per year to the existing system of Aguas do Algarve.

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