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American Hydro to upgrade Belize hydro plant

American Hydro is to enhance the efficiency and performance of the Mollejon hydroelectric generating plant in Belize after winning a contract from Belize Electric Company Limited (BECOL).

American Hydro is to enhance the efficiency and performance of the Mollejon hydroelectric generating plant in Belize after winning a contract from Belize Electric Company Limited (BECOL).

The Wärtsilä company was awarded a contract in September 2017 to upgrade the three turbine plant, which is located on the Macal River. In the first stage, American Hydro will overhaul the G1 unit and replace old turbine components to increase overall plant efficiency. The agreement includes new turbine runners, stationary turbine seals, wicket gates and rehabilitation of essential operating components as well as technical support of disassembly, installation and commissioning.

In a statement, the company said it won the contract Hydro due to its ability to expedite the turbine upgrades, thus minimising plant downtime. Installation and commissioning of the G1 unit is set to be completed in June 2018, prior to the Belize rainy season. The Mollejon plant has a nameplate capacity of 25.2MW with an annual energy production of approximately 125 GWh. 

"Mollejon provides American Hydro the opportunity to showcase our capabilities and expertise with the upgrade and optimization of existing hydroelectric equipment,” commented Alan Maciejewski, American Hydro Project Manager for Mollejon. “This is a unique opportunity to expand and demonstrate the American Hydro and Wärtsilä Hydro business capability to customers in Central and South American markets."