The technology group Voith has won an order to design, manufacture and supply the complete electromechanical equipment for the small hydropower plant Kabu 16 in Burundi. The company will also supervise the installation and commissioning of the plant. The Voith scope includes two vertical Francis turbines with a capacity of 10 MW each, valves, generators, the governor and automation system as well as the mechanical and electrical balance of plant systems.
The order for the small hydropower plant was placed in February 2019 between Angelique International Limited on behalf of the Ministry of Hydraulics, Energy & Mines of the Republic of Burundi and Voith. Construction works on the new plant are already in progress since March this year and expected to be finished in autumn 2020. The project is of high national importance, as it will provide significant benefits to the people in Burundi in terms of improved power supply, employment generation and infrastructure improvement.
“The small hydropower plant Kabu 16 in Burundi will definitely contribute to the economic and social development of the region”, says Mr. Saurabh Sharma, Vice President & Business Head Small Hydro of Voith Hydro India. “I am proud that Voith can support the project with a complete water to wire solution. The future plant operator will also benefit from a plant with a long performance time and low maintenance requirements.”
Significant small hydropower potential in Africa
Small hydro power plants are an important component of the African energy mix. However, only a small percentage of the small hydropower potential on the continent has been exploited yet. Especially in the Central African countries with low electrification rates, there is extensive potential for future developments. The expansion of small-scale hydropower can help to supply the population with electricity. Especially in remote and mountainous regions, small hydropower plants deliver electricity to thousands of people. Rural societies running small-scale industries can benefit from well-interlinked small hydropower plant networks. This kind of power generation can accelerate the development of local economies and decrease greenhouse emissions at the same time.
Picture: Work site at Kabu 16, Cibitoke province in the northwest of Burundi, East Africa. (Image: Voith)