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Germany’s Voith puts its most powerful turbine into service at giant China hydro dam

German engineering group Voith delivers and installs first of three generator turbines to one of world’s largest hydropower plants Xiluodu in China

When Xiloudu is fully connected to the grid in June 2014 it will be the world's third largest hydropower plant

German engineering company Voith has put into service its most powerful hydropower generator turbine at one of the world's largest hydropower plants in China. The Xiluodu plant, run by China's Three Gorges Corporation, will be the third largest hydropower plant in the world, once it connected to the grid in June 2014.Voith, which has headquarters in Germany, delivered and installed the first of three Francis hydropower turbines for the Xiluodu plant on the Jinsha River in China.

The output of each generator turbine in Xiluodu is 784MW. Voith said this makes it higher than the world's largest hydropower plants, which consequently sets new standards for the hydro The generator rotors have a diameter of 13.7m, a height of 4m and weigh 1,350t each.

Dr. Roland Münch, chairman of the management board of Voith Hydro, said: "This remarkable achievement is an important step toward the first 1GW unit."

The news follows Voith receiving major orders earlier this year for the modernisation of four hydropower plants in BRIC countries China and Brazil.

China's hydro role

Power generation from hydropower is playing an increasingly important role in China. The BRIC country currently has installed hydropower plants with a total capacity of 250GW. However, according to Voith, a total output of 466GW could be generated from hydropower.

The installation of the first generator unit in Xiluodu started approximately one and a half years ago. The work developed in close cooperation between Voith Hydro in Shanghai and the global Voith research and development laboratory for water turbines and generators. Voith started to equip the Xiluodu hydropower plant with components five years ago.

When Xiloudu is fully connected to the grid in June 2014, it will have a nominal capacity of 13.86GW generated from 18 machine units in total. This will make it the world's third largest hydropower plant.