Heidenheim. Another success for Voith’s hydro power business in important growth markets: at the turn of the year, the company has received several major orders for the modernization of hydro power stations in Brazil as well as in China. The combined contract value of the projects is about €185 million.
"Our success with these orders shows that the trend towards modernization in major hydro power markets is further continuing," said Dr. Roland Münch, CEO and President of Voith Hydro Holding in Heidenheim. "As an additional important mainstay, the growing modernization 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 modernizing the power plants Salto Santiago and Passo Fundo on behalf of Tractebel Energia S.A., as well as Chavantes hydro power station for the operator Duke Energy. In the 1,420-MW power station Salto Santiago, the four turbines and generators, the electro-mechanical equipment, as well as the automation technology are completely refurbished and renewed. At the 226-MW hydro power plant Passo Fundo, Voith modernizes the two generating units, the automation systems as well as the 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.
In Sanmenxia hydro power plant in China, Voith is modernizing two 50-MW turbines as well as other components and automation elements. In order to reduce erosion due to strong abrasion by the sands of the Yellow River, Voith had already initiated a research project in cooperation with the customer while having optimized a further turbine in the plant some time ago. 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, resulting in an annual plus of just under eight million kilowatt hours per unit.
China and Brazil are among the largest hydro power markets in the world. Apart from working on new infrastructure projects, both countries are increasingly focusing on the modernization and refurbishment of hydro power plants that have been running for decades now. This is development that has already started to take place in North America and Europe accordingly.
The Importance of Hydro Power
Hydro power is the largest, oldest and also most reliable form of renewable energy generation. Worldwide it makes an indispensable contribution to stable power supplies and hence to economic and social development - in industrial countries and also in rapidly growing regions. At the same time, hydro power significantly contributes to climate-protecting energy generation. Voith has been a leading supplier of this technology since the early beginning of hydro power utilization, and continuously develops and improves this technology.