Alstom wins fourth hydropower contract in Bhutan, supporting the country’s growing energy demand

Alstom, in consortium with ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH, has been awarded a contract by Dagachhu Hydro Power Corporation Limited (DHPC)* to supply key electromechanical equipment to a new hydropower station in Bhutan.

The contract for the delivery of electromechanical equipment as well as the respective loan agreement was signed at the Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs in Vienna on 27th July in the presence of Mr. Chhewang Rinzin, Managing Director of Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) and Chairman of DHPC, Mr. Kuenga Namgay, CEO of DHPC as well as Mr. Wolfgang Kölliker, Executive Director of Alstom Hydro** Austria GmbH and Mr. Wolfgang Semper, CEO of ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH.

The project marks another milestone in the development of existing hydropower potential in the Kingdom of Bhutan and hence its power supply. It will be financed with Bhutan’s own equity and credit financing supplied by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Oesterreichische Kontrollbank (OeKB) in a total investment amounting to € 151 million. The Alstom-led consortium, comprising Alstom Hydro Austria GmbH and ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH and known as Austrian Hydro Consortium Dagachhu, was awarded the supply of the electromechanical equipment worth € 55 million. Alstom Hydro's scope of supply amounts to some € 30 million and comprises two 70 MVA generators as well as the entire electrical system including automation and protection. The equipment will be manufactured mainly in Switzerland, Austria and India. ANDRITZ HYDRO will supply two 6-nozzle Pelton turbines and the entire hydraulic steelwork.

The high pressure power station (304 m head, installed capacity 124 MW, annual output 515 GWh) will be located in the south-western district of Dagana and will be built over a period of approximately four years, entering into operation by the end of 2012. The Austrian Development Cooperation (OEZA) paved the way to the development of this project as a result of its many years of successful collaboration with the Bhutanese authorities. Other fruits of this cooperation in previous years were the Rangjung power station, and the Basochhu power plants. The Rangjung power station was successfully completed in 1995, resulting in the award of the contracts for Basochhu Upper Stage (2 x 15 MVA) and Basochhu Lower Stage(2 x 25 MVA) for which Alstom Hydro also supplied the total electrical equipment.

Alstom Hydro Austria’s Executive Director, Wolfgang Kölliker, comments: 'Dagachhu is already the fourth power station we have supplied major components to, a fact which demonstrates the enormous trust the customer places in the Alstom group.'

Hydropower generation, and in particular its export to India, is the backbone of Bhutan's economy, accounting for close to one quarter of the country’s gross national product or approximately 40% of the entire national income.

At present, Bhutan's energy production amounts to 4.500 billion kWh with an energy consumption of up to 530 million kWh (forecast: +10 %/year). This represents approximately 1.5 GW installed. Bhutan has set itself the goal to increase its installed hydropower output by 10,000 MW by the year 2020. With the new Dagachhu project, it succeeds in making a major step towards this goal.

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