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German firm to modernise hydropower plants in Brazil and China totalling €185m

Voith secures major orders to renew and refurbish four hydropower stations in two BRIC countries

Voith with modernise a series of hydropower plants in Brazil and China

A German engineering firm is to modernise hydropower stations in Brazil and China in a project worth more than EUR 180m. Voith has received major orders for the modernisation of four hydropower plants in the two BRIC countries.

The modernisation orders are for three hydropower plants in Brazil and one in China. The combined contract value of the projects is approximately EUR 185m. 

Roland Münch, CEO and president of Voith Hydro, said: "Our success with these orders shows that the trend towards modernisation in major hydropower markets is further continuing. As an additional important mainstay, the growing modernisation business complements the existing activities regarding new constructions. Thanks to our comprehensive competency and long-term experience we are able to benefit from both developments."

For the three major projects in Brazil, Voith is modernising the power plants Salto Santiago and Passo Fundo on behalf of Tractebel Energia S.A, as well as the Chavantes hydropower station for operator Duke Energy. In the 1,420MW power station Salto Santiago, four turbines, generators, electromechanical equipment, and automation technology are being completely refurbished and renewed.

At the 226MW hydropower plant, Passo Fundo, Voith will modernise two generating units, the automation systems, as well as governors for the turbines. The Chavantes project covers the renewal of three generating units, including turbines and generators, and the associated electro mechanical systems in the 414-MW plant.

Meanwhile, Voith is modernising the Sanmenxia hydropower plant in China, which is based on a section of the Yellow River. The work on the plant in Sanmenxia will involve modernising two 50MW turbines, as well as other components and automation elements.

In order to reduce the issue of erosion due to strong abrasion by the sands of the Yellow River, Voith has initiated a research project in cooperation with the customer, while having optimised a further turbine in the plant. This experience will be supportive for the current project and does not only ensure improved resistance to erosion, but also an efficiency increase of about four percentage points. The company said will result in almost eight million kWh per unit each year.

Voith said: “China and Brazil are among the largest hydropower markets in the world. Apart from working on new infrastructure projects, both countries are increasingly focusing on the modernisation and refurbishment of hydropower plants that have been running for decades.”

The news from Voith follows hydropower developments in the BRICs last year. This includes India, where government approval was made in December 2012 for the construction of a 300MW hydroelectric plant in the northern state of Uttarakhand.