Italian Firm Wins Contract to Build Massive African Hydropower Plant. Italian construction firm Salini Costruttori said on March 31 it has signed a €3.35 billion contract with Ethiopia state-owned Ethiopia Electric Power Corp. to build a 5,250-MW hydropower plant on the Blue Nile, a tributary of the Nile River. The project, slated to be completed by September 2014, will be the biggest hydropower plant in Africa and will produce power at a cost of 5 eurocents/kWh, Salini Costruttori said. The project site is located 700 kilometers (km) northwest of Addis Ababa in the Benishangul-Gumaz region. The works will consist of a roller-compacted concrete main dam with two powerhouses located on the right and left bank of the river, which will contain 15 Francis turbine units. The project will include a concrete-lined gated spillway and a 5-km-long, 50-m-high saddle dam on the left bank.

Alstom Begins Construction of Second 400-MW Singapore Gas Unit. Alstom, which in October 2010 signed a contract to build two 400-MW gas-fired combined-cycle units for KMC, a division of Singapore-based Keppel Corp. Ltd., on April 26 began work on the second €300 million unit. The engineering, procurement, and construction contract includes long-term service agreements, and Alstom will provide the entire plant and all associated equipment, including two GT26 gas turbines, two steam turbines, two heat-recovery steam generators, and the ALSPA Series 6 integrated control system. When completed, the new plant is expected to increase KMC’s production capacity to 1,300 MW. The company currently supplies about 10% of Singapore’s power.

ABB, Partners to Build Hydro Plant in Peru. ABB and consortium members Rainpower of Norway and Jeumont of France on April 20 said they had won a power generation order to provide engineering and power equipment to Peru’s Empresa de Generacion Electrica Cheves S.A., a subsidiary of Norwegian energy firm SN Power, for the 168-MW Cheves greenfield hydropower plant. Located in the provinces of Oyon and Huaura, the Cheves project, when completed in November 2013, is expected to alleviate voltage fluctuations and power cuts that are common to the area. ABB and its partners will provide a “water to wire” solution, which includes the ABB-supplied complete electrical balance-of-plant systems, including gas-insulated substation, generator breakers, medium-voltage and low-voltage switchgear, step-up transformers, plant controls, protection system, and other electrical auxiliaries. Rainpower will supply the turbine and Juemont, the generator. The consortium’s scope includes the installation and commissioning of equipment.

AREVA Solar to Install Fresnel Reflectors at Australian Coal Plant. AREVA Solar on April 13 announced it had been awarded an A$104.7 million (US$112.5 million) contract to install a 44-MW solar thermal augmentation project at a 750-MW coal-fired power station in Queensland, Australia. The project, which AREVA Solar is calling “the world’s largest solar/coal-fired power augmentation project,” will involve installation of compact linear Fresnel reflector technology at CS Energy’s Kogan Creek Power Station. The company also plans to build and operate a manufacturing facility to support the Australian-pioneered technology and Kogan Creek project. The solar steam generators and accompanying system will occupy about 30 hectares of land within the site. Construction will start this year, and commercial operation is planned for 2013.

RWE, TURCAS Begin Building 775-MW Gas Plant in Turkey. German firm RWE and Turkey’s TURCAS on April 13 broke ground for a new 775-MW gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Kaklik, a district of the town Denizli in western Turkey. The €500 million project being built by RWE & TURCAS Güney Elektrik Üretim, a joint venture, is expected to be complete by the end of 2012. The International Energy Agency forecasts that Turkey’s energy consumption will double in the next 10 years. RWE officials said at the groundbreaking ceremony that the project served as a strategic step into the growing Turkish market.

—Sonal Patel is POWER’s senior writer.