VA Tech Hydro has been awarded a contract by the operator of the 65-year-old Reckingen power plant in Switzerland to upgrade and modernise one of its Kaplan turbines.

The scope of supply for va-tech-hydro includes a set of new runner blades, a guide wheel ring, a discharge ring, and draft tube cone to allow for an increase of the runner diameter from 6200mm to 6450mm. The remaining mechanical components will be overhauled thoroughly. Furthermore, the existing turbine controller will be replaced by a digital TC 1703 governor of the Neptun series.

This upgrading project is designed to boost the annual energy production of the refurbished turbine No 1 by 3%. A subsequent upgrading of turbine No 2 would result in a 5.7% increase in overall energy output. Once one turbine is modernised, the additional annual energy production of more the 7500MWh will supply approximately 2500 households.

Reconstruction and modernisation work is scheduled to start in January 2004. The total downtime from shutdown to recommencement of commercial operation has been planned to be only 21 weeks.