Russian utility RusHydro has contracted Voith Hydro St. Pölten to modernise Kaplan turbines at the Saratovskaya hydro power station, raising capacity from 60 to 68 MW per unit.

This contract represents one of the largest ever individual orders of Voith Hydro St. Pölten, said the hydro specialist. A runner diameter of 10.3 metres makes the plant’s Kaplan turbines among the largest of their kind.

The Kaplan turbines at the plant in the south west of Russia will be modernised in several stages in close co-operation with a Russian partner. Voith Hydro St. Pölten’s contract totals €140m ($191m) for the first five units.

Alongside the contract, both companies also signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of a joint manufacturing site in Russia.

Russia’s commercially feasible hydro power amounts to 852 TWh/year, of which just 17 per cent have been developed, said Voith Hydro. Existing hydro power stations also have a strong demand for rehabilitation with about a fifth of turbines having been in service for more than 40 years old.

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