Voith has agreed to undertake a pioneering collaborative hydropower study with the National University of La Plata (UNLP), in Argentina, in an uprating and modernization research on the existing Argentinian large hydropower plants.
In early June, Voith President and CEO, Dr. Hubert Lienhard, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Prof. Marcos Actis, Dean of the University of La Plata. In his role as Chairman of the Asia Pacific Committee of German Business, Dr. Lienhard accompanied German Chancellor Angela Merkel who visited Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, to meet with President Mauricio Macri in order to strengthen the political alliance between both countries.
A joint collaboration for the future
Voith has agreed to contribute with its knowledge and expertise in hydro to UNLP, who will conduct an uprate study in the hydroelectric system currently existing in Argentina, for the ultimate purpose of providing the Argentine Government with information regarding the potential of such improvements. Modernization projects seek to restore equipment to its original condition, improve service life, power generation and system reliability, as well as reduce a plant’s maintenance costs. With the progress of technology, ever-increasing gains can be achieved by upgrading systems and equipment in older power plants.
Energy outlook in Argentina
Uprate initiatives in the hydropower scenario are targeted to benefit Argentina, as the country relies on this energy source for ~30% of its power generation and it accounts for more than 10 GW of installed hydro capacity. This is in the face of a challenging energy outlook: according to the World Economic Outlook (WEO April 2017), Argentina’s economy will recover after the 2016 recession and is expected to grow consistently from 2.2% in 2017 to 3.1% in 2022.
Argentina is the third-largest economy in Latin America and also the third-largest energy consumer in the region. This partnership project will contribute to the country’s development: first, through the increase in the energy output and second, through the development of local professional expertise with regard to the best practices in terms of hydroelectric energy uprates. ‘‘We are glad to be working with the National University of La Plata and to be able to contribute to the development of a clean, renewable future for Latin America,’’ says Mr. Uwe Wehnhardt, President and CEO of Voith Hydro.
The importance of Hydropower
Renewable energy is undoubtedly the most sustainable answer to the rise in energy demand. Hydropower plays a key role in sustainable and environmentally friendly power generation and is the leading renewable source of electricity generation globally. Worldwide it makes an indispensable contribution to a stable power supply and thus to economic and social development – both in industrialized countries and in regions seeing strong growth. Since the early days of hydropower exploitation, Voith has been a leading supplier of this technology and is constantly refining and improving it.