Alstom Hydro says that its new Global Technology Centre in India will help to further strengthen its position in the global hydropower market.

The engineering firm has officially inaugurated the new centre, located at its existing Vadodara manufacturing facilities in Gujurat state. The new facility will focus on testing Pelton turbines, which are commonly used in the Himalayan region, and analysing erosion, a key issue for the Indian hydropower market.

Alstom sees India as a vital market for its hydropower business. The country’s GDP growth reached almost ten per cent in 2006 and is predicted to remain resilient in 2009 and 2010, according to Alsom Hydro, which has also been awarded a EUR78 million contract for the turnkey supply of equipment to the Lower Jurala project in India.

“By focusing on the specific issues of the Indian hydro market, the new Global Technology Centre at Vadodara will enable Alstom to adapt more quickly to the needs of its customers while remaining at the forefront of turbine innovation,” said Philippe Cochet, President of Alstom Hydro.

India is the world’s biggest market for Pelton turbines.

Researchers at the Vadodara site will work in close collaboration with Alstom’s Global Technology Centre in Grenoble, France and together will provide high-tech testing facilities for the entire range of hydro turbines. Alstom Hydro’s current market share in the global hydro market is 25 per cent.

For the Lower Jurala hydro project, Alstom will design, manufacture, supply, install and commission six 40 MW bulb turbine generators under a turnkey contract awarded by Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation. The project is located on the Krishna River, 8 km downstream from the existing Priyadarshini Jurala Dam in Andhra Pradesh state.

The Vadodara manufacturing facility will be in charge of project execution. The project is scheduled for completion by 2013.