GE to expand on its 18 GW hydropower presence in Africa

21 May 2017

General Electric Corp(GE) says it wants to be involved in the planned 29 GW increase of hydropower presence in Africa that also includes implementing the Digital Hydro Plant, according to President and Chief Executive Officer, Hydro, GE Renewable Energy, Yves Rannou.

In a report this week published by GE Africa, Rannou said GE has 18 GW of hydropower installed on the continent and added detail on Africa’s planned 29 GW increase.

“Hydro is booming in Africa. In 2016, more than 3 GW of hydropower capacity was put into operation with plans to grow its installed-base in the years to come. There are also plans for an additional 7 GW in Angola; 2 GW in Mozambique and Nigeria; 2 GW in Morocco; and 18 GW in Ethiopia by 2030,” Rannou said.

Also read: General electric to construct five solar plants in Nigeria

Earlier this year, GE Renewable Energy created a Renewable Energy Services Business, which includes a digital team, to work with the hydropower and onshore and offshore wind businesses. GE is introducing the Digital Hydro Plant for hydro in Africa, according to Rannou.

“The future for software is extremely bright in hydropower. Having more data helps to make better asset decisions for reduced costs, better efficiency and overall life-cycle performance.

That’s why we have introduced the Digital Hydro Plant, a unique blend of hydropower software and hardware, based on data analytics, to improve the performance of the hydro plant of our customers, create actionable insights from their data and increase profits,” he said.

GE currently has teams active in projects that include: the 6,000-MW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the 720-MW Kariba North in Zambia and the 1,424-MW Inga 2 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The GERD project has been under construction since 2011 and is expected to cost US$6.4 billion and be completed in 2018. It will be owned and operated by the Ethiopian Electric Power Corp.

GERD will feature the largest roller-compacted-concrete volume dam in the world, at 10.2 million cubic meters. The main dam will be 1,800 meters long and 175 meters high and a concrete-faced rockfill saddle dam will be 5,000 meters long and 60 meters high. Its reservoir will have a capacity of 70 cubic kilometers.

GE recently completely finished refurbishing the six spillway gates of the 2,075-MW Cahora Bassa hydroelectric project in Tete province, Mozambique. Cahora Bassa Dam impounds the Zambezi River creating Cahora Bassa Lake, which has a capacity of about 55.8 km3.

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