Ethiopian Government Delegation visiting Voith in Heidenheim to gain insight into hydropower technology

  • Ethiopian government officials visiting Heidenheim
  • Power generation from hydropower is very important for Africa and
    carries a high development potential
  • Voith Hydro products support a sustainable growth in Africa
Visit of the Ethiopian delegation around the Minister of Science and Technology, Demitu Hambisa (4th f. r.), at Voith. The guests were welcomed by Dr. Norbert Riedel (5th f. r.), Member of the Board of Management of Voith Hydro, in charge of Central Technology globally and the Board of Management of Voith Hydro Heidenheim.
Heidenheim. Again high-ranking guests from Africa visiting technology company Voith in Heidenheim: During their official stay in Germany, this Friday a delegation of the Government of Ethiopia has visited the company’s headquarters and was being informed about Voith’s hydropower activities.

One of the members of the delegation was the Ethiopian Minister of Science and Technology, Demitu Hambisa. As part of their visit the delegation got a tour through the Voith Hydro Hydraulic Research and Development Center. Particular attention was paid to the modern laboratory where model tests for new plants are carried out. “I find the wide-ranging know-how from Voith in the hydropower area truly remarkable. Especially the insight into the global research and development network of the company was really impressive”, said Minister Demitu Hambisa.

„We feel very honored to be visited by the delegation of the Ethiopian Government “, said Christer Parkegren, ‎Chairman of the Board of Management of Voith Hydro Heidenheim. „In Africa, there is huge potential to utilize hydropower that has not been exploited so far, and this is why we are very delighted about the interest in and the support for the further development of hydropower.”

The African continent has remarkable hydropower resources that have not yet been developed so far: The technically feasible hydropower potential is estimated at 435 GW, and with 26 GW only a fraction of this has been developed. Also Ethiopia, with an economically feasible potential of over 45 GW and an installed capacity of well over 2 GW, is utilizing only a minor share of its hydropower potential, being one of the largest in Africa, for power generation. In the coming years, Ethiopia will increase the installed capacity gradually to 10 GW.

The project history of Voith in Ethiopia goes back to the 1950s when supplying the Lixour hydropower plant. Other important projects were Koka (1958), Awash II and III (1964) as well as Gilgel Gibe I (2004) and II (2008). Gilgel Gibe II alone has doubled the country’s installed hydropower capacity and raised the share of the rural population supplied with electricity from 15 to 50 percent. Also hydropower plants in other African countries are being equipped by Voith, for example the electromechanical equipment for the 700 MW project Cambambe II in Angola or the modernization of two 55 MW generating units for Inga I in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Like Ethiopia, many other countries in Africa also focus on hydropower when expanding their energy supply systems. These countries are aiming to provide a reliable electricity supply without interruptions to the continuously growing population as well as the dynamically developing economy. Hydropower is very suitable for a stable, secure and climate-friendly energy supply. In addition, it contributes to the local creation of value, supports the regional development and is helping countries in Africa in their efforts to become more independent from energy imports.

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 generation. Voith has been a leading supplier of this technology since the early beginning, and continuously develops it further.

About the Company
Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs more than 39,000 people, generates € 5.3 billion in sales, operates in about 50 countries around the world and is today one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe.