Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Sri Lankan company wins contract to build Guyana’s Kumu, Moco Moco hydropower plants

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Guyana’s National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) revealed that an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the 1.5MW Kumu and 0.7MW Moco Moco hydropower plants, was awarded to Vidullanka PLC (Sri Lanka). The company said it will execute these works for US$12,850,000.

Incorporated in 1997, Vidullanka PLC has over two decades of experience in the renewable energy power generation sector in Sri Lanka.

The two projects it will pursue are part of the country’s plan to diversify its energy mix. Importantly, they will provide the Lethem grid with 100% renewable energy by 2024.

As part of a loan taken from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the reconstructed and improved Moco Moco Hydropower Plant will add another 700kW to the grid in the hinterland region. This hydropower project, which is being executed by the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), will also generate approximately 4,565 MWh/yr.

The structures that were initially installed in the project included a diversion system, headrace, forebay, penstock, powerhouse, tail water canal, step-up substation, administration buildings and a transmission line. The new project will seek to maintain the current location of the existing hydraulic structure (weir), headrace, forebay, powerhouse, step-up substation and tailwater canal.

The penstock alignment will be determined when the geotechnical and topographical surveys are completed. Therefore, water will be extracted from the left bank of the Moco Moco Creek.

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The US$2.2 million Moco Moco plant is part of the Guyana government’s Hinterland Electrification Programme (HEP) that seeks to implement small, renewable energy projects for urban and off-grid communities. The Chinese government had previously funded a plant that was commissioned in 1999 at Moco Moco. However, it was damaged just four years in and has been defunct ever since.

The US$3.9 million hydropower plant at the Kumu Waterfalls is expected to last 30 years, once a rigid maintenance programme is employed. It will generate 9,700 MWh annually and is expected to provide employment to about 10 persons on a permanent basis during operation. According to a non-technical summary from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the project is a run-of-the-river plant that is technically and economically feasible. The Kumu plant will cut the cost of power in half and is expected to operate at a profit of about US$3 million per year.

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