Voith Awarded Major Hydropower Contract at €200 Million in Pakistan

26.02.2014

Voith has been awarded a major contract for the supply of the complete electromechanical equipment for a hydropower plant in Pakistan.

The contract for the Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project has a total value of around €200 million and includes the supply of three generators, three 470 MW Francis turbines, the automation systems as well as the electrical and mechanical balance-of-plant systems. The contract has been awarded by the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) of Pakistan and is financed by the World Bank. The project is an important milestone for Voith on the Asian market, and once completed the expanded plant will provide much needed power to Pakistan’s grid to meet the growing energy demand of the country.

The extension project uses the Tarbela dam – one of the world’s largest earth- and rock-filled structures – and the infrastructure already in place and will increase the output of the Tarbela plant which was constructed in 1974 at the Indus River, 110km outside of the capital Islamabad, by about 40 percent. Tarbela’s current capacity of 3,478 MW will be raised to a total of 4,888 MW on completion of the extension.

The major project will be equipped in a joint effort of Voith Hydro’s operating units in Shanghai, China, and Heidenheim, Germany: The automation and electrical balance-of-plant systems will be developed and supplied by Voith Hydro in Heidenheim, while Voith Hydro in Shanghai will be responsible for the manufacturing of the three 470 MW vertical shaft Francis turbine units and the three 522 MVA generators as well as the mechanical balance of plant systems and three butterfly valves with an inside diameter of 7.5 meters.

The extension of the Tarbela Dam – which already today provides 16 percent of Pakistan’s electricity – will increase the capacity of the existing dam by 1,410 MW and add 3,871 GWh per year to the power grid of Pakistan. This will also support Pakistan to shift its energy mix away from expensive fuel imports and in its efforts for long-term sustainable growth.

Pakistan has a remarkable potential of untapped hydropower resources and the government aims at strongly expanding the share of hydropower in the national energy mix: Today, the country only harvests 6,500 MW of the hydropower potential of approximately 41,000 MW with hydropower contributing around 30 percent to the electricity mix. The remaining 70 percent come from thermal plants forcing the country into expensive imports of oil and gas. At the same time, the country’s demand for power has risen dramatically by around 8 percent a year leading to acute power shortages calling for new capacities have to be added. The government, therefore, aims to further exploit the enormous hydropower potential of the country by developing up to 20,000 MW of it, and to reverse the country’s energy mix to a portion of 70 percent coming from hydropower and only 30 percent from fossil fuels by 2025.

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