Modernising the Emborcação hydropower plant

Omexom in Belo Horizonte will modernise CEMIG’s largest hydroelectric power plant, with 1,192 MW of installed capacity, located on the River Paranaiba in Brazil.

Brazil is the third largest generator of hydropower globally, accounting for 9% of production, and second worldwide in terms of installed power, with 8.3%.

Building of the Emborcação hydropower plant (UHE) began in 1977. It spans 1,502 m in length, stands 158 m tall and withholds a reservoir with an inundated area of around 476.59 km2 and a maximum capacity of 17,724.72 hm³.

The project involves replacing the entire auxiliary electrical system and supplying major components for the plants main systems. It is also planned to provide more than 90 distribution boards for all four generating units over a period of 14 months.

At the same time, Omexom is responsible for replacing all the electrical panels and engine control centres in the plant, in addition to supplying equipment for some of the plant’s key systems, such as the spillway, the ventilation for the step-up transformer, the generator operator control, the synchronisation compensators and the refrigeration and adjustment of the generating unit protection system.

The main challenge is in carrying out the works with the plant in operation and minimising the impact on energy production.