Alstom today placed the corner stone of its future hydropower Global Technology Centre for Latin America, in Taubaté (state of São Paulo - Brazil). This new centre will be located in Alstom’s largest hydro manufacturing facility, with capacity to produce all electromechanical equipment for hydro plants in Brazil and for projects abroad.
This centre will have a special focus on Kaplan power plants. It will include a state-of-the-art test stand for turbine models which is scheduled to be inaugurated in mid-2013. This center will be able to contribute to the development of technological solutions for projects all over the world and, in particular, for Latin America, meeting the specific needs of the regional market, says alstom.
In addition to project development, the centre will have important partnerships with Brazilian universities. The company has also announced today the first partnerships with Unifei (Federal University of Itajubá) and Unesp (State University of São Paulo) for future funding of doctors and masters degrees related to the hydro market.
Alstom already has similar centres in Grenoble (France), Baroda (India), Birr (Switzerland) and Sorel-Tracy (Canada). The Brazilian centre will be the first to have the complete hydro product technical expertise in a single location: turbines, generators, governors, command and control, hydro mechanical and lifting equipment. The centre will also have links to manufacturing excellence programs.
“Alstom’s first technology centre in Latin America will focus on Kaplan solutions for alstom-hydro worldwide and will include an R&D team and a test stand. Experts in Research & Development from France will work with the Brazilians in the first years of deployment. After this transition period, the intention is that the centre will have only Brazilian professionals, promoting the national knowledge and investing in local growth”, said Marcos Costa, Vice-President for Renewable Power and Thermal Power for Alstom in Latin America.
Brazil accounts for 45% of the future worldwide Kaplan market and, along with the Asian countries, makes up 80% of this segment. This type of turbine is ideal for low-head hydro projects (up to 55m) and is capable of adapting to the flow of a river, generating production all year round, both in periods of flood and during dry seasons. It also contributes to preserving the environment because it can be used with smaller reservoirs and smaller flooded areas. It is becoming an optimal solution for run-of-river plants, which represents the future of the Brazilian market.
“We are very pleased with our long standing presence and performance in the Latin American hydropower market. This is a key area of development for us and we are confident that this technology centre in Taubaté will be the driver of new opportunities and successful projects. Alstom reinforces its local research & development structure in Brazil with our highest quality standards, as a sign of further commitment to this market”, added Jérôme Pécresse, President of Alstom Renewable Power Sector.