One of the world’s largest run-of-the-river hydroelectric projects under construction is about to begin, installing unique bulb turbines that eventually will contribute 3,150 MW to Brazil’s energy grid. The $9-billion San Antonio hydroelectric project will require 44 massive bulb turbines seven meters in diameter, considered the largest ever built. Each turbine has 7-m-dia rotors and is capable of producing 71.6 MW of power. The turbine parts are being manufactured by France’s Alstom and the Austrian-German Voith Hydro in São Paulo, then shipped to the jobsite by boat to be re-assembled. The project on the Madiera River in the Brazilian Amazon
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.