Brazilian generator Cat-Leo Energia has chosen France’s alstom Power, over 14 other bidders, to supply turbines, generators and equipment for five small scale hydro plants it is building in Minas Gerais state.

The estimated US$14.5M contract also covers control and automation systems for the plants, which will have a total installed capacity of 99MW.

Alstom equipment will be shipped to: 13MW Palestina, scheduled to begin operating in August 2002; 24MW Ponte, due to begin operating in July 2002; 23MW Triunfo, due to come on line in March 2003; 15MW Granada, set to come on line in March 2002; and 24MW Cachoeira Encoberta, slated for a May 2002 start-up.

Alstom is working on standardising its offer of equipment and services to small hydro developers. ‘We are beginning to develop that side of the business much more now,’ a company spokesperson told IWPDC. ‘Small hydro is very much à la mode at the moment, with the popularity of distributed generation, and large hydro projects have huge problems getting off the ground.’

•Alstom Power has launched a customer service website in the US, that it plans to roll out internationally. Users can use the programme to request quotes, view product information, review inventory levels and obtain order status at