Rosatom looking to capitalize on South African market

Rosatom’s push into South Africa’s hydropower market continues with a deal that will see the Russian company install a small hydro plant near Mpompomo Falls.

The deal, brokered by Rosatom subsidiary Ganz Engineering & Energetics Machinery and its partner Blue World Power Energy & Resources, will result in a project up to 1 MW in capacity.

Based in Hungary, Ganz manufactures self-contained hydropower plants designed to fit entirely into a standard shipping container. The company previously said these containers would be outfitted with reversible Francis turbines, generator and control systems.

The units are made to be deployed easily and rapidly, with controls and monitoring available via satellite, internet or mobile network. Blue World said it hopes the relative ease of their installation makes them attractive to other developers on the continent.

“These mini-hydro units have become our focus as they are capable of bringing power quickly and efficiently to rural communities in Africa,” said Blue World managing director Gavin Carlson.

Rusatom announced in 2016 that it had signed a partnershp with Blue World and South African platinum producer Lonmin PLC to develop a pilot program using the Ganz units, with the intent to expand further.

“This is just the beginning of our envisaged large-scale cooperation program in the field of small-scale hydropower engineering in Central and South African countries,” said Alexander Merten, president of Rusatom International Network.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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