The Iron Gate 1 hydro power station in Romania is to be refurbished and upgraded in a project likely to cost US$152M. Now the first part of the refurbishment has been awarded to Sulzer Hydro (as consortium leader) and ABB Scheiz in a contract valued at SFr50M (US$38M).

Iron Gates 1 is the largest run-of-river plant in Europe, providing some 2000MW of capacity from its 12 turbines, six on the Romanian and six on the Serbian side.

The plant was commissioned in 1972, and the Romanian government decided recently to embark on a refurbishing and upgrading programme for its side of the plant. As a further benefit, installation of new runners carried out as part of the project will increase the plant output by 10%.