American Hydro, a subsidiary of Wärtsilä has secured a contract to improve efficiency and performance of the 25.2MW Mollejon hydroelectric generating plant in Belize, Central America.

The contract was awarded by Belize Electric in this September to upgrade the plant with high quality hydroelectric solutions and technical support.

The technical support will include fast delivery and experienced technical installation support, which is expected to bring early return on investment.

Belize Electricity is a main distributor of electricity in Belize in Central America. The Mollejon plant is located on the Macal River about 110km southwest of Belize City. The plant has three hydroelectric turbines with a combined yearly production that can reach up to 125GWh.

American Hydro in the first stage will overhaul the G1 unit and will replace the old turbine components. This is expected to increase the overall efficiency of the plant.

As part of the agreement, American Hydro will supply new turbine runners, stationary turbine seals, wicket gates and rehabilitation of essential operating components along with technical support of disassembly, installation and commissioning.

The first stage is expected to be completed in next June, before the rainy season begins in Belize.

American Hydro Project Manager for Mollejon Alan Maciejewski said: “Mollejon provides American Hydro the opportunity to showcase our capabilities and expertise with the upgrade and optimization of existing hydroelectric equipment.

“This is a unique opportunity to expand and demonstrate the American Hydro and Wärtsilä Hydro business capability to customers in Central and South American markets.”

In early October, American Hydro secured a contract to increase efficiency and production capacity of John W. Keys III pump-generating plant in Washington, US. The plant has a capacity of 314MW and is part of the 6.8GW Grand Coulee Dam power complex, which also serves as the flood control and irrigation for the area.

Image: Mollejon hydroelectric generating plant is located in Belize, Central America. Photo: Courtesy of Wärtsilä.