ATB keeps growing in the hydroelectric market

Thursday, 21 May 2020

New customers. Projects underway. The bottom outlet is being installed in Laos. Gates are shipped to Uganda.

From Nam Theun 1 to Achwa

This is a particularly promising time for the ATB Group's Hydro-Mechanical Equipment Division. In 2019 our order book was over EUR 130 million. 2020 began with the new Ituango project and so, heralds almost the same satisfactory figures. One thing for sure is that, as Sergio Trombini, President of the ATB Group has stressed, the business in the hydro-power sector «is giving a sense of perspective to our entire industrial reality». 

This growth will soon require some adjustments in the company's structure and a hiring scheme to reinforce the HME technical workshops that are currently being involved in different fronts: Canada, Chile, France, Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Uganda.  And in Laos, at the site of Nam Theun 1, the hydroelectric plant being built in the Province of Bolikhamxay, over the Nam Kading river.

ATB has been chosen as the main supplier of the hydro-mechanical equipment required to operate the plant, and crucial to produce the electricity to be channelled to domestic consumption and exported to Thailand.

The sections of the penstock are manufactured directly in site, with the support of a temporary workshop set up at the construction area. Thanks to this organization, the pipes were built and finished ahead of schedule. ATB is currently assembling the bottom outlet and the internal branches of the tunnels. In the meantime, the flats gates and the radial gate that are part of the bottom outlet have been shipped from Italy. 

At present 40% of the project has been completed. «Our objective for 2021 is to end all the remaining orders of this contract», explains Alberto Cavaliere, Project Manager of the Hydro-Mechanical Equipment Division. Even if the pipes are already built and finished, the temporary on-site workshop will remain operational to pre-assemble the two bifurcations and for secondary activities. 

Such as disassembling the equipment to be sent to other parts of the world where the Group is working. «In the last few weeks, in fact,» stresses Cavaliere, «we have dismantled the equipment we used to make the sections, and we are preparing the shipment to Cameroon. The equipment will be used in the Nachtigal project».

Africa is one of the zones in which ATB has been always present in the hydro-power sector. Interesting news from Achwa: The Group, subcontractor of PAC S.p.A, is in charge of designing, building, transporting, and installing hydro-mechanical equipment such as gates, trashracks, stoplogs and accessories for the HPP2 hydroelectric installation in North Uganda. 

The power of the plant is 42 MW with an annual production capacity of 281 GWh. It is the first of five plants that will be built by Arpe LTD over the Achwa river.

«In 2019 ATB was awarded a new order to supply the whole hydro-mechanical package for the HPP1 project», announces Giuliano Garavelli, Project Manager for ATB.«This project is progressing at a good pace: the first cargo of gates made at the ATB facilities in Colombia arrived at the site by mid-March, and other shipments are expected in the next two months».

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