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Atel to build a drinking water power station and electrify a Graubünden alp

Atel EcoPower AG, a subsidiary of Atel Holding Ltd, is to build a drinking water hydro-electric power station in Riein near Ilanz in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. The system will be constructed and put into service during 2009 and will generate ecological electricity for around 15 households. In return for the usage rights for the small hydro-electric power station, Atel and the municipality of Riein have agreed to electrify the alp. This work will be carried out between the 15th and 19th of September 2008 with assistance from Atel apprentices.

Apprentices support installation work

The drinking water hydro-electric power station in Riein near Ilanz (canton of Graubünden) will use the 545 m drop from the alp above the village down to the reservoir. With a capacity of 15 kilowatts and an annual production of some 60,000 kilowatt hours, it will supply the grid with sufficient electricity for about 15 households. The mini power station is a sensible extension to the existing drinking water supply installation and provides electrical energy as a valuable by-product from the turbined drinking water. Construction of the power plant is planned to begin in the spring of 2009. In return for the using rights for the drinking water power station, Atel has agreed with the municipality of Riein to electrify the alp. Electricity from the grid will in future replace the diesel generator, and an electric pump is to replace the hydraulic ram used to pump the drinking water from a source lower down on the southeast side of the alp up to the reservoir further up the alp. In due consideration of the vegetation and the mountain farmers, the electrifying work is to be carried out already this autumn. The environment, a whole village and around a dozen apprentices will benefit from the project.

A week's practical training for ten Atel apprentices The installation work will be carried out during the week from the 15th to the 19th of September 2008 by Atel Installationstechnik AG (AIT) and AIT's subsidiary Kummler+Matter AG. The work encompasses the renewal of the supply lines to the reservoir and the alp, the installation of a new water pump with a pressure maintenance shaft, as well as the taking over of the electrical installations in the alpine hut. Under the professional eye of their instructors, apprentices from AIT will also take part in the installation work. Under expert supervision, the apprentices will convert their theory to practice using Riein as a practical example. During the week they will live in the "Old sawmill" in the village of Riein.

At more than 70 locations in Switzerland, Atel trains around 460 apprentices in building and traffic engineering and provides them the opportunity to gain sound training in an interesting sector.

Riein Alp The municipality of Riein, with approximately 70 inhabitants, is situated six kilometres from Ilanz at a height of 1270 metres above sea level. The Riein Alp, at 1855 metres above sea level, belongs to the municipality and from the middle of June until the middle of September provides a home for some 60 dairy cows and 14 pigs. During each season a Senn (mountain herder) and two assistants process 41,000 litres of milk to give four tons of cheese and between 300 and 350 kilograms of butter. This level of production requires a high performance, modern infrastructure.

Commitment to new renewable energies With projects such as this one in Riein, Atel is making a contribution to the more efficient application of energy and is pursuing its strategy for the promotion of energies from renewable sources. Through its subsidiary Atel EcoPower AG, Atel is investing around CHF 200 million in existing small hydro-electric power stations and projects for new systems and thus assuming its responsibility in the field of new renewable energies. It is Atel's objective by the year 2030 to be able to supply some 20 percent of the 5.4 terawatt hours' growth in renewable energy demanded by the Swiss Federal Council.

Atel Holding Ltd Corporate Communications