Wanjii hydropower plant in Kenya undergoes modernization

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The Wanjii small hydropower plant in Kenya is expected to increase its output by about 20% after extensive modernization works reach completion.

German-based technology firm, Voith, is replacing the plant’s turbines, generators, control technology as well as the electromechanical equipment.

With an output of 7.4MW, the Wanjii facility, which is located around 80 kilometers to the northeast of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, is a good example of the importance of a decentralized energy supply in Africa.

Works to improve performance

A key determining factor outlined by the plant operator and national power producer, KenGen, will be the significant increase in performance.

According to the technology firm, the modernization concept will also improve the plant’s energy balance with the reduced number of electrical consumers. In addition, maintenance will become easier as individual components can be replaced, if necessary with minimal effort.

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The replacement of the power plant technology also includes equipping it with a remote controlled system, so that electricity generation can be regulated from KenGen headquarters in Nairobi, the firm said in a statement.

A particular challenge of the upgrade project is that due to structural conditions, all components have to be transported to the lower lying powerhouse using an inclined elevator.

The firm added that in many remote and mountainous regions, similar plants supply people with power and create the basis for their economic and industrial development.

The works are expected to reach completion in mid-2019.