Dams and Civil Structures

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    Nepal’s 456-MW Upper Tamakoshi hydroelectric project suffers “settlement”

    Nepal’s Electricity Authority has released a list of earthquake damaged state- and independently-owned hydroelectric projects that includes the US$664 million 456-MW Upper Tamakoshi hydroelectric facility being constructed on Nepal’s Tamakoshi River.

    According to NEA, the Upper Tamakoshi concrete dam settled as a result of the April 25, Nepal earthquake that killed more than 7,000 people.

    Published local news reports quote Bigyan Prasad Shrestha, Upper Tamakoshi project chief, saying an initial inspection of the project site following the earthquake showed the dam sustained “settlement.” But, there was no other damage.

    The project is one of several revealed by Nepal’s Finance Minister Baburam Bhattarai in September 2008 as part of a government initiative to increase the country’s hydroelectric capacity by 10,000 MW by 2018.

    Dawnus performs civil works Liberia’s 64-MW Mount Coffee

    UK-based construction firm Dawnus International Ltd. has signed a US$62 million contract to construct main civil works associated with the reconstruction of Liberia’s 64-MW Mount Coffee hydropower plant.

    The deal will see Dawnus perform reconstruction and rehabilitation of the project’s main dam, powerhouse, spillway, intake and other infrastructure and road works.

    The company fulfilled a $13 million project at Mount Coffee in 2014, establishing a camp and other preliminary works allowing for further development of the site.

    Located, on the St. Paul River 27 kilometers northeast of Monrovia, the plant was destroyed during a period of civil war in the early 1990s. The original powerhouse contained four turbine-generator units, two with a capacity of 15 MW that began operating in 1966 and two with a capacity of 17 MW that began operating in 1973.

    The cost to make the needed repairs and upgrades to bring the facility back on line is estimated at $230 million. The government has received funding from various donors, including the European Investment Bank and European Central Bank, to help finance the work.

    “We are very proud to be part of this important project,” Dawnus managing director Bob Kottler said. “Liberia’s electricity grid was almost entirely destroyed during the Civil War, and the development will bring enormous benefits to the country.”

    The Liberian government originally planned for the rehabilitation to be completed by the end of this year, though work suspensions due to the country’s Ebola epidemic stalled progress.

    The World Health Organization declared Liberia Ebola-free in May, however, pushing the project’s new completion date to the end of 2016.

    The Liberia Electricity Corporation, the national electricity company of Liberia, is managing the Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant Rehabilitation.

    Liberia’s government is currently accepting bids to operate and maintain the plant.

    Voith Hydro is modernizing the plant’s Francis turbines and delivering new generators, control technology, and electrical and mechanical power plant equipment.

    Vandals damage Lairg Dam in Scottish Highlands

    According to a report by Scottish television station STV, 18 boulders were dislodged from the base of Lairg Dam, in the Scottish Highlands, and placed in the water.

    STV reports the damage is believed to have been done between May 10 and May 18. Because the project is remotely controlled, it would not have been seen quickly.

    It is expected that needed repairs to the dam will be costly, although a figure has not been released. Money spent to repair the facility may come from operating budgets.

    Lairg Dam impounds Loch Shin. The dam is a concrete embankment structure 427 meters long and 12 meters high. The powerhouse has a capacity of 3.5 MW from a vertical Kaplan turbine-generator unit and began operating in 1959.

    Owner SSE is involved in the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity and owns 63 hydro plants, as well as wind, biomass and marine renewables projects.

    SSE also plans to build a 1.4-MW hydro plant in the Den of Airlie that will provide additonal power to the local community and it also owns thermal power generation facilities in the UK.

    Three killed at Belo Monte hydropower plant worksite

    Three workers were killed and several others sustained injuries when a cement silo collapsed at the Belo Monte hydropower plant’s construction site in Brazil. According to the Belo Monte Construction Consortium (CCBM), the incident occurred on the last day of May when a truck was delivering to the worksite’s storage area.

    Emergency responders spent close to 15 hours searching for the bodies of the three workers, while three others were treated at the site before being transported to a hospital in Altamira.

    Police in Brazil’s Para state are investigating the silo’s collapse, which was able to hold about 500 tons of cement. CCBM said it will help “with all the effort possible” .

    The US$26 billion Belo Monte project, being built on the Xingu River, will have a capacity of 11,200 MW.

    In April, Cemig Geracao e Transmissao SA made a deal to acquire a 49% share in the plant from mining company Vale.

    Belo Monte’s completion deadline is 2018, but in June, developer Norte Energia filed a request for a construction extension.

    Source : HRW