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Forgemasters expands further into the hydropower market

20 August 2010

Sheffield Forgemasters International (SFIL) has secured a contract worth more than one million Euros in Columbia, South America with hydro firm Andritz.

SFIL will supply runner crowns and runner bands which are the main working components in the Francis water turbines at the power generating heart of a new hydro-electric dam being built on the Sogamoso River.

The contract adds to a long list of global hydro power projects which SFIL has supplied vital components to over the years, including the Three Gorges Dam on China's Yangtze River and India's largest hydro-power plant, Karcham Wangtoo.

Volker Schaffer, sales director at SFIL, said: "Andritz Hydro is an existing customer of SFIL and the Sogamoso contract reflects the time and effort that Sheffield Forgemasters has put into the hydro-power sector over the past two decades.

"During this time, Sheffield Forgemasters has been at the forefront of component production for power generation, which has led us to develop highly refined processes for creating critical components which operate under extreme stresses.

"South America has developed a high demand for renewable energy, such as hydropower, and the market will continue to grow on a global scale as demand outstrips supply."

Each casting for the turbines that SFIL will produce takes six months to complete. SFIL will provide four runner crowns weighing in at 22 tonnes each and four runner bands at just over 11 tonnes each.

Based on the studies previously conducted, an installed capacity of 820 MW is anticipated for the Sogamoso project, which will produce, on average, 5056 GW/h annually.

Last month SFIL made an additional commitment to the hydropower industry by becoming a member of the British Hydropower Association.

It is anticipated that being a part of the BHA will allow Forgemasters to grow further and expand the services they offer into a wider area of renewable energy, demonstrating SFIL capabilities in hydropower manufacturing.

The contract with Andritz is set to be completed in June 2011 with the majority of the work supplied by SFIL being completed at the new machine shop on Brightside Lane.