Africa, Hydroelectric, Renewables

Voith contracts will optimise Ethiopia’s hydropower potential

Technology group Voith has signed a comprehensive service and operations consultancy contract for Gilgel Gibe II hydropower plant in Ethiopia.

A focal point of the two-year service and operations consultancy contract is the optimisation of the energy production of the hydropower plant, which has a current output of 420 MW.

The agreement was signed during the G20 Investment Summit on November 19 in Berlin, Germany.

Voith’s scope of supply comprises the modernisation of the maintenance systems, the implementation of digital solutions and the knowledge transfer through special training programmes. All local activities are exclusively provided by Ethiopian Voith experts.

Gilgel Gibe II hydropower plant in Ethiopia

“Together with the plant operator Ethiopian Electric Power we want to utilise the whole potential of the hydropower plant Gilgel Gibel II. We succeed in this by reducing unplanned downtimes and failures to a minimum,” says Mark Claessen, managing director Voith Hydro East Africa.

“A stable and sustainable energy supply is the foundation for social and economic development in Ethiopia and many other African countries,” he added.

With a hydropower potential of 45,000 MW, Ethiopia has one of the largest hydropower resources on the African continent. Since 2011, the country supports the development of renewable energy and wants to become an energy hub for East Africa in the medium term.

Reliable energy supply in Africa

The hydropower plant Gilgel Gibel II is located about 300km south-east of the Ethiopian capital Addis Abeba.

Voith supplied four Pelton turbines and generators, as well as the entire mechanical and electrical equipment and also trained the plant operator staff.

Before Gilgel Gibe II went into operation, only 15 per cent of Ethiopia’s villages were connected to the power grid. Now, half of the rural settlements are supplied with power. In total, Ethiopian hydropower plants with Voith technology supply up to 900,000 households in the country with clean and sustainable electricity.

The agreement was signed by the Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity Dr Seleshi Bekele and Mark Claessen, managing director Voith Hydro East Africa in the attendance of Peter Altmaier, the German Federal Minister for Economics and Energy.

The investor summit took place within the G20-Initiative Compact with Africa. Twelve Heads of State of the African Compact partner countries as well as South Africa, acting as G20 partner of the initiative, were attending the summit.

Main image caption: Pictured from left to right: Dr Seleshi Bekele, Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, and Mark Claessen, Managing Director Voith Hydro East Africa in the attendance of Peter Altmaier, German Federal Minister for Economics and Energy.

Originally published on esi-africa.com