Aerial view of Porto Colombia located on the Grande River

In its first large-scale contract after privatization, Furnas has tasked Voith Hydro with modernisation of the 320MW Porto Colombia hydropower plant on the Grande River on the border between the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais in Brazil.

The scope of work at the almost 50-year-old plant includes the refurbishment of the Kaplan turbines, generators and the overhead crane. It also includes the replacement of mechanical and electrical auxiliary systems and digitization of measurement, protection and control systems will be covered. This will lead to an increase in availability of the Furnas system that supplies the National Interconnected Grid.

“We are happy that we can contribute to this project with our advanced technologies and solutions,” commented Ricardo Lee, Head of Modernization at Voith Hydro Latin America.  “The customer will benefit from the local engineering team and factory in Brazil.”

Voith Hydro has extensive experience in modernizing hydropower plants in Brazil. Earlier this year the company signed an agreement with a subsidiary of Eletrobras to modernize the Paulo Afonso II hydropower plant. Back in 2021, it has already began the modernization work for Paulo Afonso IV in the same hydroelectric power complex – the fourth largest plant in terms of installed capacity in Brazil which has been in operation since 1979.

A couple of years before, the overhaul of four 355MW power units at the Salto Santiago hydropower plant on the Iguaçu River was completed. Voith Hydro also upgraded the Chavantes and Capivara power stations and increased their installed capacity. CTG Brasil, which holds the concessions of the plants, also contracted Voith Hydro to refurbish four generating units at their Ilha Solteira and Jupiá plants.