Gilkes Complete Installation of 15MW Zimbabwe Hydro Project
The Pungwe B project in the Honde Valley close to the Mozambique border is the 3rd hydro project that Gilkes have worked on for the client, Nyangani Renewable Energy (PVT) Ltd (NRE).
Gilkes won the contract to supply the mechanical and electrical equipment for the original Pungwe A project after a recommendation from their clients sister company based in Malawi, who have had Gilkes machines operating continuously since 1934. The Client acted upon Gilkes reputation and recommendation and awarded the contract for a 2.8MW Pelton Turbine. Due to the success of this project, it was closely followed by the Duru project, powered by a 2.2MW Pelton Turbine.
A strong relationship between NRE and Gilkes has provided the basis for the Pungwe B project. Situated in a remote area with difficult access and lack of lifting facilities, weight considerations had to be taken into account when selecting the Turbines. Careful front end engineering at the sales stage identified the ideal solution as 4 Twin Jet Turgo machines which are faster running, therefore making the generators lighter in weight.
The Gilkes commissioning team set out to have three of the four machines commissioned prior to Christmas 2014. Due to hard work and organisation the project exceeded expectation, having all four machines commissioned by January 2015. The project which is now providing 15MW of power to the grid also created around 200 much needed jobs for the local community.
'I am just back from a week in Zimbabwe and was very impressed by what I saw. It was especially exciting to see all 4 machines operational and the powerhouse looking finished and tidy. Many thanks to you all for all the hard work in getting to the finishing post ahead of time. I hope you have all found it as interesting a job as we all have and that you have enjoyed doing it. '
Sebastian Hobhouse - Chief Executive - PGI Group Ltd
'Gilkes are committed to working in Africa and installing Hydro into very remote rural areas. We find it both challenging and very rewarding. Our installation and commissioning teams stayed on this remote site for several months ensuring everything ran smoothly. Our engineers now have a good relationship with the local authorities and supporting them with the integration of small hydro schemes into their grid system.
Where we believe Gilkes stand out is our support with the customer, our relationship begins once the plant is generating and this relationship will last a very long time as does our equipment.
We have worked with NRE over the last 4 years on 3 projects and we believe our partnership works very well.
We look forward to building on our success with the projects in the Honde valley and hope there are many more to come in Zimbabwe.'
Andy Eaton - Hydro Sales Engineer - Gilkes