GE Hydro to upgrade Swiss hydro plant

GE Hydro, a unit of GE Power Systems, has been awarded a $26.8 million contract to upgrade Swiss power producer Ofible’s plant in Biasca, Switzerland.

GE Hydro will supply six overhung two-jet, 50-megawatt Pelton turbines and three 333 rpm, 109 MVA generators producing 327 megawatts of power. The new equipment will replace eight overhung one-jet, Pelton turbines and four generators, which have been producing 288 megawatts.

Following the project, which also includes a total electrical-mechanical balance of plant upgrade, the 43-year old Swiss facility will generate more power with less equipment for end users in Switzerland and Italy.

The new equipment will be configured into three units, each with two turbines and one generator. These units will replace the previous four-unit configuration, with an overall increase in power production of two percent. An older unit will be retained as a backup in order to maintain power levels when one of the new units is taken offline for maintenance.

The first generator and turbine unit will go online in April of 2004, with the remaining units scheduled to be in service by April of 2005 and April of 2006, respectively.

Construction is planned for the winter months of each year when the water flow is the lowest and less equipment is needed to generate full power to ensure no loss of operating capacity.