Alstom has inaugurated its first hydropower global technology centre in Latin America.

Alstom has invested €8m in the facility in Taubate, São Paulo, which it says will support Brazil’s increasing power generation needs by developing Kaplan power plants, which are designed for low head applications, between 15 and 60 meterAlstom GTC in Brazils.

These plants are able to adapt to river flow variations, allowing year-round energy production in both flood and dry seasons. Alstom says that Brazil accounts for 45 per cent of the future worldwide Kaplan market for new-build power stations.

The new technology centre will include a state-of-the-art test rig for turbine scale models and has set up partnerships with Brazilian engineering companies, institutes, and universities.

Jacques Hardelay, Alstom’s global hydro chief operating officer, said: “The inauguration of the Brazilian centre represents a key milestone for Alstom’s development in the country and in the renewable market. It will allow us to benefit from a feedback of experience of highly skilled R&D experts and engineers located close to our customers and to continually improve the products we design.”