Voith has announced it is investing in the small hydro sector with the expansion of facilities for it subsidiary Kössler GmbH & Co KG in Austria. The company has also said it is making excellent progress with its new compact turbine StreamDiver, which has been running in trouble-free test operation for exactly one year.

The expansion project involves development of a new hydropower engineering center and a new production hall for final assembly at Kossler’s location in Sankt Georgen am Steinfeld.

"The investment is a commitment by Voith towards the potential of small Hydro," said Josef Lampl, Managing Director of Kössler, at the ground-breaking ceremony on the company’s premises. "We are creating better working conditions for our employees and more space for manufacturing our products and, in doing so, upgrade the entire plant with its existing buildings."

The completion of the building project is scheduled for the end of 2014. Afterwards, a certain percentage of the workforce will move into the new engineering center. Following the upgrade, the expanded production facilities will have a capacity of about 70 turbines per year – so far the annual output was 40 turbines.

An innovation by Kössler, the compact and eco-friendly StreamDiver has now completed a whole year of trouble-free test operation, the company. Voith celebrated this important milestone together with its project partners Verbund Hydro Power, as well as EVN Naturkraft GmbH, Wien Energie GmbH and Grenzkraftwerke GmbH at Nußdorf power plant near Vienna.

The StreamDiver is a compact turbine-generator unit for small hydro applications with a simple and maintenance-friendly design. The product has been designed to harness the power of water even in places where this had been impossible in the past for economic reasons or due to nature conservation laws. Apart from enabling the construction of new barriers, the StreamDiver can also be installed in existing weirs, making them suitable for power generation with any inherent interference with the environment being reduced to a minimum.

Kössler has been a part of the global network of Voith Hydro since 2007, and has become the company’s European center of competence for small hydro.