World News


Two projects undergoing rehabilitation

Hydro projects in Venezuela are undergoing modernization and rehabilitation work.

Most recently, Corporacion Electrica Nacional S.A. (Corpoelec) awarded a contract to Dongfang Electric Machinery Co. of China for modernization of six turbine-generators in Powerhouse 1 of the 10,300 MW Simon Bolivar project on the Caroni River. These six units have been operating for 50 years at the plant, located at Guri Dam.

Work to be performed includes design, manufacture, installation, testing and commissioning of Units 1 through 6. Work also is to include modernizing the control systems of Units 1 through 10 and the central control of the entire powerhouse.

Upon completion in some 60 months, the work is expected to increase the project’s installed capacity by 885 MW, Corpoelec said.

Meanwhile, comprehensive modernization worth US$147.85 million is under way on the 240 MW Jose Antonio Paez project on the Aracay andoc Santo Domingo Rivers.

In October, crews were in the second month of a two-month plant shutdown for cleaning and dredging the project’s Santo Domingo Reservoir, where accumulation of sediment has severely reduced the useful volume of the project. Sediment retention works are being constructed to reduce future accumulation.

Corpoelec said three of the project’s four units are completing major maintenance and should be ready to generate 165 MW in November. Unit 3 is to undergo full modernization, with operation scheduled in the first half of 2015.


Negotiations approved for 1,000 MW Chemba hydro project

Mozambique’s Council of Ministers has approved a resolution authorizing negotiations related to the construction of the 1,000 MW Chemba project on the Zambezi River in central Mozambique.

Government news agency Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (AIM) reported the project is to be developed as a public-private partnership of government-owned utility Electricidade de Mozambique (EdM) and a private capital hydro development firm, Sheza.

Government spokesman Henrique Banze said Chemba, to be built between Sofala and Tete, is to ensure availability of energy to meet demand in central and northern Mozambique, including expected growth in the area.


Despite drought, country advancing work on two hydro projects

Two hydroelectric facilities in Brazil are seeing work move forward, despite recent reports that the reservoirs behind many dams with hydroelectric generating capacity that serve Sao Paulo are below 10% capacity.

The lack of water that flows through, or is maintained in, Brazilian hydro facilities is having a significant negative effect on social concerns in Sao Paulo. This is a concern because the Ministry of Mines and Energy reports that domestically operated hydro facilities produce about 70% of Brazil’s electricity.

But projects are still moving forward.

First, environmental regulator Companhia Ambiental do Estado de Sao Paulo has issued an environmental operating license to a unit of Triunfo Participacoes e Investimentos S.A., allowing it to operate the 807.5 MW Tres Irmaos project on the Tiete River. Tijoa Participacoes e Investimentos will operate the 20 year-old project under a 30 year concession agreement signed with Brazil’s Ministerio de Minas e Energia in September.

Triunfo holds a 50.1% majority stake in Tijoa, which was incorporated in August 2014 in partnership with utility Furnas — Centrais Eletricas S.A.

Located on the Tiete River, Tres Irmaos has five Francis turbine-generators, a 3,640 m-long dam and two navigation locks.

Secondly, Brazil’s energy regulator has authorized commercial operation of the first unit of the 373.3 MW Santo Antonio do Jari project on the Jari River.

Grupo EDP and CWEI Participacoes Ltda. received authorization from regulatory authority Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL) to begin operations of the first 123.3 MW turbine-generator unit at Santo Antonio do Jari on the border of Para and Amapa states.

Project power will be sold on the short-term electricity market or by contract.

Three other turbine-generators, two 123.3 MW units and a 3.4 MW unit, are in advanced stages of commissioning. Full operation is expected within three months.


World Bank unit to assess feasibility of 1,000 MW Sounda Gorge project

The World Bank’s International Finance Corp. (IFC) has signed a project services agreement with the Congo Republic (CR) to assess the feasibility of the 400 to 1,000 MW Sounda Gorge project. Under the agreement signed October 11, IFC is to carry out studies that will assess the potential for a hydropower project with strong environmental and social safeguards at Sounda Gorge on the Kouilou River.

IFC will serve as lead transaction adviser to develop the project on a public-private partnership basis and is to develop a detailed implementation plan and budget for the project prior to negotiating a financial advisory services agreement.

The loan organisation is now to consider a range of scenarios for establishing a dam and hydropower plant, undertaking detailed engineering, environmental, social and market studies, as well as a legal analysis. The agreement ensures that IFC’s due diligence will be carried out in accordance with its own performance standards.

Studies will be carried out over 18 months, providing information to help the government determine the most appropriate size for the project based on environmental and social considerations and the amount of electricity that can be generated. The agency is to consider options for developing the project, including through public procurement and public-private partnerships.


Final generator installed at 6,400 MW Sayano-Shushenskaya

Russian equipment manufacturer Power Machines reports it completed installation of a final giant generator rotor at the 6,400 MW Sayano-Shushenskaya project in Siberia.

Power Machines signed a US$371.4 million contract with project owner RusHydro JSC in November 2009 providing for 10 hydropower turbines and nine generators, as well as six excitation systems. Power Machines is also providing installation, supervision services, and commissioning of the equipment.

The final generating unit at the 6,400 MW Sayano-Shushenskaya project has been installed, the last step in a long rehabilitation project undertaken after the August 2009 accident that shut down the plant.

The Russian supplier said it had installed the heaviest component for the project, a 900-ton generator rotor, in Sayano-Shushenskaya’s Unit 2. After connecting all rotating components and checking their parameters, the firm will proceed to prepare the unit for commissioning and startup.

There are nine new units in service at Sayano-Shushenskaya, with Units 3 and 4 being put into service this year.

Power Machines said a breakdown of Unit 2 was the cause of an August 2009 accident at the project that caused the turbine room to flood, killing 71 people and destroying three of the project’s 10 turbine-generators.

Turbines are being equipped with an a process protection system that automatically shuts down the unit if any unacceptable performance deviations occur in monitored parameters.


Formal opening for 87 MW Paravani project

Energy officials from Georgia and Turkey were on hand for the formal opening of the 87 MW Paravani project, being completed by Turkey’s Andalou Group on Georgia’s Paravani River.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) hailed the event, in Samstkhle Javakheti Region near the Turkish border, after the bank lent US$54 million to Paravani, while the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. (IFC)–ifc-invest-in.html supplied a further US$40.5 million to the project. Another US$23 million for the project came from commercial bank loans.

“This power plant is a landmark project as the first private, large-scale renewable power generation project in Georgia, which will also have a cross-border dimension,” said Bruno Balvanera, EBRD’s director for the Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus.

The US$167 million run-of-river project will be linked through a converter substation in Akhaltsikhe, Georgia, and by transmission lines to the Georgian and Turkish electricity grids. The substation is part of the EBRD-funded Black Sea High Voltage Transmission Line project that connects the two grids.

The project is being developed by Andalou unit Georgia Urban Energy LLC.


One plant nearly complete, one being expanded

Development of Vietnam’s 156 MW Song Bung 4 project has reached a “major milestone” with closure of the river diversion and start of reservoir impoundment in late September and integration of Unit 2 with the national grid in late October.

The US$250 million project, owned by Electricity Vietnam (EVN), includes a 110 m-high roller-compacted-concrete dam, a 3.2 km-long headrace tunnel, an intake structure and powerhouse.

The 156 MW Song Bung 4 hydropower plant is nearly complete, with the second and final unit synchronised with the national grid in late October.

Song Bung 4 is Vietnam’s first major hydropower project to be funded by the Asian Development Bank, with a $196.5 million loan for its construction awarded in October 2008.

In other news in the country, EVN has awarded Alstom a US$16.9 million contract to supply a turbine and generator for its expansion of the Thac Mo plant. The contract includes the design, manufacture, testing, supply, erection and commissioning of all equipment associated with one 75 MW vertical Francis turbine, generator, control systems and electrical balance-of-plant equipment.

The 150 MW Thac Mo complex is on the Be River in Binh Phuoc province. The plant was commissioned in 1995 and houses two 75 MW turbines.


Country moves forward on Diamer Basha, Keyal Khwar

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has pledged US$200 million toward development of the 4,500 MW Diamer Basha Dam project in Pakistan. The funding is being used for assessment of environmental and social effects, as well as preparation of a financial package.

USAID, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Pakistan Business Council, hosted a business opportunities meeting in Washington, D.C., in October, 2014. More than 100 individuals attended. U.S. government officials participating included:

– Richard Olson, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan;
– Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID administrator;
– Daniel Feldman, special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan for U.S. Department of State; and
– Michael Curtis, director of U.S. Energy Programs, Pakistan, USAID.

These officials were emphatic about the importance of renewable energy development in Pakistan and the USA’s commitment to aiding Pakistan in meeting this goal. “We are not going to eradicate poverty or resolve climate change without taking on large renewable energy projects, and Diamer Basha in Pakistan is perhaps at the top of the global list,” Feldman said.

Diamer Basha Dam is to be built on the Indus River. Main features include a 272 m-high roller-compacted-concrete dam, a 14 gate spillway, a reservoir with storage of 6.4 million acre-feet and two underground powerhouses.

During the October meeting, Pakistani officials – including Minister of Finance H.E. Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Minister of Water and Power H.E. Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Chairman of Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Zafar Mahmood, and Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Jalil Abbas Jilani – shared details about the project and generally conveyed their commitment to hydropower development.

In other news, the Executive Committee of Pakistan’s National Economic Council has approved construction of the 128 MW Keyal Khwar project on the Keyal Khwar River. The committee met in a special session on September 2 chaired by Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar.

The committee approved a summary moved by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform for development of the plant in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Province.

The project is to be completed by WAPDA in four years at a cost of PKR27.8 billion (US$270.8 million). It is to deliver electricity via a 2.8 km-long transmission line connecting to the switchyard of the 130 MW Duber Khwar hydro project.


Forrest Kerr hydro project begins commercial operation

Canada’s AltaGas Ltd. announced its 195 MW Forrest Kerr hydro project in the province of British Columbia completed a 72 hour testing period required to achieve commercial operation under its electricity purchase agreement with BC Hydro. The developer said in late October that a certificate of commercial operation date had been delivered to BC Hydro.

The 195 MW Forrest Kerr project in British Columbia, Canada, is now operating.

“The final test phase went as planned and Forrest Kerr has officially started delivering clean power to British Columbia,” AltaGas Chief Operating Officer David Harris said. “I would like to thank all our employees and contractors, the government of British Columbia and BC Hydro for their contribution to the success of our project. I would like especially to thank the Tahltan First Nation, on whose traditional territory this landmark green project operates.”

The C$725 million (US$645.4 million) run-of-river Forrest Kerr’s powerhouse and high-voltage switchyard were commissioned in July on the Iskut River.

The project’s weir, intake structure, desanding area and radial gate control valve were commissioned in May.


Investing in one project, building another

A US$280 million loan facility has given the International Finance Corporation a minority equity stake in energy producer Bajradaya Sentranusa (BDSN), supporting operation of the 180 MW Asahan 1 project in Indonesia.

The deal is intended to improve BDSN’s financial sustainability while reducing the country’s reliance on fossil fuels, with $75 million of the loan coming from IFC and $205 million in syndicated and parallel loans from Indonesia Infrastructure Finance, the Korean Development Bank, Maybank International, Societe General and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking.

The company said close to 60% of the country’s power was generated from coal and oil sources in 2012, with more than 65 million people lacking access to electricity, making Asahan 1 an important part of Indonesia’s energy mix.

“We are committed to supporting companies like BDSN and providing low-cost renewable energy that will improve the stability of Indonesia’s electricity supply, IFC representative Sarvesh Suri said. “Affordable hydropower will help Indonesia meet its growing demand for reliable power to support development.”

In addition, Hyundai Engineering Co. of South Korea awarded a contract to Voith Fuji Hydro to supply major electromechanical equipment to the 46.6 MW Rajamandala project being built on the Citarum River.

Voith Fuji, a joint venture of Voith Hydro and Fuji Electric of Japan, is to supply a 46.6 MW Kaplan turbine and generator. Hyundai received a US$91.3 million construction contract earlier this year from Indonesian developer PT. Rajamandala Electric Power, which is backed by PT. Indonesia Power and Kansai Electric Power Co. of Japan.

The run-of-river project is to be built within a cascade of existing large hydro plants and reservoirs on the Citarum in Cianjur Regency, West Java Province. Japan Bank for International Cooperation agreed in June to lend US$66 million to Rajamandala Electric Power for the project.

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