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Hydropower developer NuPlanet has begun construction of the 4.5 MW Stortemelk station near Clarence in the Free State Province, South Africa, after agreeing financing on the project.

Construction of the project is expected to take around two years, with commissioning schedule for mid-2016. It was awarded preferred bidder status under the South African Government’s Independent Power Producer (REIPP) programme.

Stortemelk project siteNuPlanet has implemented a number of innovative measures in designing the project to address environmental considerations, ensure maximum availability and optimise maintenance.  This includes a vertical CAT turbine directly coupled to an air/water-cooled generator, eliminating the forced ventilation and reducing the number of failure mechanisms.

Anton-Louis Olivier, managing director of NuPlanet, said: “We’re building the power plant in one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa. The brief to the architects was to design a powerhouse top-structure that minimise visual impact and blended the power station to the surrounding environment.”

Mr Olivier explained how the project’s unique ownership structure will ensure that project benefits reach the people most in need. “Not only is Stortemelk is one of the few REIPP projects that is wholly South African owned, but our partners, the Mertech Group, is one of the largest philanthropic investors in South Africa. 

“Combining that with broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) ownership and an additional shareholding by a local Clarens-based charity results in a business which is ploughing back the majority of its returns to poor communities across South Africa.”

The project, situated on the Ash River, will be constructed using a ‘split contract’ structure with an engineering, procurement  and construction management (EPCM) arrangement rather than the EPC structure that is more commonly used in the REIPP programme.

Mr Olivier said: “Based on our past experience, we realised that small hydro does not lend itself as easily to the EPC contract structure as do solar PV or wind projects. Fortunately our partners and lender agreed with this approach.”

You can find out more about NuPlanet here: www.nuplanet.co.za

The World Bank has published a review of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol providing recommendations on its usage.

The review, entitled The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol for use by World Bank clients: lessons learned and recommendations, which you can read in full here, describes the protocol as “a useful tool for guiding the development of sustainable hydropower in developing countries”.

The protocol is a tool for measuring the environmental, social, technical, financial, and economic aspects of a hydropower project’s performance. It was developed by a multi-stakeholder forum featuring representatives from industry, civil society, donors, developing country governments and the finance sector over a three-year period.

Among its findings, the review concludes that:

  • Developers that have applied the protocol have experienced that protocol assessments deliver value for money
  • The protocol complements the World Bank’s policies and procedures for social and environmental performance, but does not replace them
  • The protocol has a range of other potential uses, including a transparent framework for stakeholder dialogue and conflict resolution

The review also features a set of recommendations for World Bank clients, including that:

  • A full commitment from the developer is crucial to the success of assessments, given the reliance on evidence provided
  • Basic good practice defined by the protocol may not reflect standard practice in a client’s country, so managing expectations is key to successful implementation
  • Achieving basic good practice across all topics is difficult in the short term, and so the focus should be on the process of continuous improvement and not a measure for comparison between countries and projects

You can read the full report here, and you can find out more about the protocol at www.hydrosustainability.org.

We are delighted to welcome three new members to the association.

New member logosKorean water resources corporation K-Water has joined as a gold member; Thai energy company CK Power has joined as a silver member; and Norwegian engineering and design consultancy Norconsult has also joined as a silver member.

K-Water

A government-owned corporation, K-water has more than 40 years' experience managing water resources and developing water resources infrastructure, including hydropower and water supply systems, since its establishment in 1967.

Over the past 10 years, K-water completed more than 50 overseas projects providing consultancy services (master planning, feasibility studies, design & construction supervision, O&M, etc.) in over 20 countries, and it is developing overseas projects as an investor and/or O&M contractor particularly focusing on hydropower.

Website: www.kwater.or.kr

CK Power

CK Power Public Company Limited (CKP) is the first Thai holding company listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand with its core assets overseas. The company engages in businesses that create sustainable energy and focuses on investment in power business, both in Thailand and in ASEAN region under efficient management.

It is also committed to social responsibility for all stakeholders in order to develop sustainable energy while balancing the environment and the quality of life for the people and society.

Website: www.ckpower.co.th/en

Norconsult

Norconsult is a multidisciplinary engineering and design consultancy, providing services to clients in the public and private sectors worldwide.

The company provides services within the power sector, including power system studies and hydropower engineering, from the initial reconnaissance through all phases of design, tender preparations, investigations, contract evaluation, construction supervision and commissioning.

Website: www.norconsult.com

You can find a full directory of our members in our 2014 Activity Report.

Etalin Hydro Electric Power Company Limited, a Joint Venture company of Jindal Power Limited & Hydro Power Development Corporation of Arunachal Pradesh Limited, is inviting application for pre-qualification from interested bidders under International Competitive Bidding process for implementation of Etalin Hydro Electric Project (3,097 MW) through various packages. 
 
When complete, Etalin will be the largest Hydro Electric Project in India in term of installed capacity. You can download the notice inviting application for pre-qualification here.

On 18–20 June, we participated in the biennial meeting of the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO's International Hydrological Programme in Paris, France. The meeting included a special session on "hydropower and its role in the water–energy nexus".

UNESCO-IHP logoThis session was moderated by Bianca Jiménez Cisneros, secretary of the International Hydrological Programme.

Richard M Taylor, executive director of the International Hydropower Association, addressed participants about hydropower development worldwide, as well as our research on greenhouse-gas of freshwater reservoirs and the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.

Cícero Bley Jr, co-ordinator of the Hydroinformatics International Centre (a UNESCO-Category 2 Centre), spoke about the utilisation of available energy sources related to water and wastewater in Brazil's Sao Francisco Verdadeiro basin. You can read more about this here.

Engin Koncagül, programme officer of the UN World Water Assessment Programme, presented on the seven main messages of the United Nations World Water Development Report 2014 “Water and Energy”, which you can download here.

Finally, András Szöllösi-Nagy, rector of UNESCO Institute for Water Education, spoke about the institute's role in meeting training needs and capacity building in the hydropower sector. Click here to find out more about the institute's course on the design of hydropower schemes.

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