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Omkareshwar

Omkareshwar, India

Turnkey commissioning in record time

A mere 48 months. The workers and engineers from Voith in India managed to construct a hydropower plant with a total capacity of 520 megawatts in just this short time. The record set by this project was praised by the Indian President.

One can rarely find thousand year-old traditions and innovative technology so close to one another as you can in the central Indian province of Omkareshwar. Here is situated one of the twelve most important Shiva temples for the country's 1.2 billion inhabitants. Just one kilometre downstream, there is a state-of-the-art hydropower plant, which supplies electricity to over 500 nearby towns and villages as well as to the State of Madhya Pradesh.

Energy from hydropower

In India, electricity is still a precious commodity. Before the hydropower plant in Omkareshwar on the Narmada River was connected to the grid, the local population sometimes had just 15 minutes of electricity per day. Since then, a continuous supply of electricity has been ensured. And not just that, as the responsible project manager, Werner Kellner, reports: "The hydropower plant in Omkareshwar produces energy, whilst at the same time supporting the agricultural use of the water in an especially economical and sustainable way. The fish stocks have increased, whilst the arable land is now also irrigated using a system that was constructed. As a result, the local population's food supply has improved significantly."

Hydropower in India

The total energy potential of hydropower in India has been estimated at 150 000 megawatt hours. So far, about a quarter of that has been put to use. The Indian Government's medium-term goal is to increase the proportion of hydropower in the energy mix from today's 25 percent to 40 percent.

Automation and mechanics from a single source

In Omkareshwar, Voith has installed eight Francis turbines, each with synchronous generators including excitation unit, control and monitoring systems, generator busducts and auxiliary systems. Each unit has a capacity of 65 megawatts. In addition, a complete automation system from the HyCon product family has been installed. This is a hydropower-specific product developed by Voith which offers special features to allow the control of hydroelectric power stations. "Voith has developed and built many machines of this type," said Ralf Wiese, who was the project manager in charge of the installation of the automation system in Omkareshwar. "Our experienced engineers are able to develop and install a tailored solution for every hydropower plant."

Complete turnkey system from Voith

Voith acted as a consortium partner to Jaiprakash in Omkareshwar. Jaiprakash was responsible for the structural systems and the hydromechanical equipment for the plant. Voith, on the other hand, designed, delivered and installed all of the electrical and mechanical systems for the balance of plant. And did so in record time! In India, different standards apply in terms of time: the roads are not paved and the infrastructure is less well developed. "It is still the norm today in India that the construction phase of hydropower plants can last up to ten years," said Kellner, the project manager. Voith constructed the entire turnkey system in Omkareshwar in just four years thanks to the excellent cooperation between its locations in Heidenheim, Delhi and São Paulo.

Excellent work

On 15 November 2007, the hydropower plant in Omkareshwar was connected to the grid as scheduled. The Narmada Hydroelectric Development Corporation Ltd. (NHDC), which operates the plant, won recognition for its early completion of this major hydroelectric project. The prize awarded by the Indian Department of Energy was presented in person by President Pratibha Patil to NHDC.

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