• Complete equipment for hydropower plant extension project;
• Increase of total capacity by 40 percent;
• Support of Pakistan’s plans to realize its enormous hydropower potential and to shift its energy mix away from imported fuels.
The con-tract 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 operat-ing 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 respon-sible for the manufacturing of the three 470 MW vertical shaft Francis tur-bine 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 per-cent 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 con-tributing 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 dra-matically 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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The Importance of Hydropower
Hydropower 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 both in industrial countries and in emerging markets. At the same time, hydropower significantly contributes to climate-protecting energy genera-tion. Voith has been a leading supplier of this technology since the early beginning, and continuously develops it further.