|Three Gorges Dam in Hubei, China, built on Alstom technology.|
China’s hydropower market presently accounts for 22% of the country’s electricity generation capacity and is expanding at a rate of 15 gigawatts per year. That growth will now be spurred on by Alstom’s new hydropower manufacturing facility at Tianjin.
The new site is to be named Alstom Hydro China Co. Ltd (AHC) and will, over time, fully replace Alstom’s original factory in China, Tianjin Alstom Hydro (TAH). Its construction is taking place in two main phases, with phase one already operational. To ensure gradual transition of the workload, Alstom’s existing factory TAH will remain operational until the second phase has been fully completed.
Representing an investment of one billion RMB (just under €110 million), AHC is Alstom’s first carbon-neutral manufacturing site in China. Its energy-efficient design includes double insulation, heat recovery systems, a geothermal heating and cooling system that consumes 43% less energy than a conventional system, rainwater recycling, and solar photovoltaic panels that will provide electricity for heating, cooling, lighting, and ventilation for the entire factory. In addition, skylights have been installed to take full advantage of natural light.
Energy efficiency in buildings is at the top of the Chinese government’s agenda in honoring its commitment to reduce CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45% by 2020 from 2005 levels, following its promise for a 20% cut by 2010.
AHC will have a total area of nearly 250,000 square meters and a production capacity that is 20% greater than the old site, capable of delivering up to 30 turbine and generator units per year with outputs ranging from 20 MW to 1000 MW.
“AHC places us in a great position to respond to demand and execute our order backlog in the Asian region, as well as having an eco-friendly design,” said Philippe Joubert, President of Alstom Power and Executive Vice-President of Alstom. “Its new location in the industrial zone near Tianjin Airport provides us a lot of room for potential further expansion.”
The new facility will house a Global Technology Centre where Alstom will carry out R&D activities and test turbines developed for its customers. It will be Alstom Hydro’s third global technology centre, following the opening of Alstom’s centres in Grenoble, France and Vadodara, India in 2008.
Alstom is one of the leading hydro producers in China and, to date, has signed contracts for hydro turbines and generators covering 43 GW in the country, out of which approximately 28 GW are already in commercial operation.
On November 4th, 2010, Alstom announced it had won a further €50 million contract to supply five 40 MW units for the Xiajiang hydroelectric project in Jiangxi province.
Read Hydropower and Energy Potential at Non-powered Dams from Amazon.