Alstom to modernize 5,616 MW hydroelectric site in Canada

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Paris, January 5, 2012 — Alstom won a contract worth about $64 million by utility Hydro-Quebec to modernize the Robert-Bourassa generating facility in Canada, bringing an increase to the plant’s efficiency.

Consisting of 16 units with a total power generation capacity of 5,616 MW, Centrale Robert-Bourassa is the world’s largest underground generating station. The dam is located on the La Grande River in northern Quebec and one of the facilities of Hydro-Quebec‘s James Bay project.

Together with the La Grande 2-A generating station, the two plants account for over 20 percent of Hydro-Quebec’s installed capacity.

Under the terms of the contract, Alstom will design, manufacture and deliver four new 333 MW Francis turbine runners for units 1-4 of the dam, and carry out the complete refurbishment and modernization of two turbine-generator groups.

Alstom will also supply several new components (ring gate, distributor, servomotors and turbine shaft) for unit 1 of the power plant, while refurbishing some of the existing components for units 2 and 3, and replacing 16 electronic governor systems. Commissioning of the first upgraded unit is scheduled for autumn 2013.

The contract also includes an option for the supply of four more runners for units 4-8 and the refurbishment and modernization of six more turbine-generator units.

Canada is one of the world’s largest producers of hydropower with 475 hydropower plants, providing more than 71,000 MW. Hydropower supplies 60 percent of the country’s electricity needs and 13 percent of worldwide hydropower generation each year.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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