VA Tech Hydro has signed a US$89.5M supply contract for Beles hydro power plant in Ethiopia.

The order was placed by Salini Costruttori, which is the turnkey supplier of the 460MW plant. Owned by Ethiopian Electric Power corporation (EEPCO), the plant will be installed in a cavern located in the north west of Ethiopia, near to lake Tana.

The scope of supply of this project includes model test, design, manufacturing, transport, installation and commissioning of the complete electromechanical equipment including four vertical Francis turbines, digital type governors, generators and electrical and mechanical balance of plant. The start of commercial operation is scheduled for 2008.

Beles will be the largest hydro power station in Ethiopia and is one of the first plants feeding the country’s planned 400kV grid for long distance transmission.