With the Flow

A fjord in Norway.

Hydropower is the most proven and developed form of renewable power generation.

© iStock by Getty Images

More hydropower

The generating capacity for renewable energy, including hydropower, will have to be increased drastically in the next few years in order to reach the climate goals.

Less CO₂

The level of carbon dioxide emissions can be lowered effectively with the aid of hydropower. An example illustrates this: Ryburg-Schwörstadt hydroelectric power station generates an average of approximately 760 GWh per year, contributing to an emissions reduction of around 600,000 tons of CO₂ annually.

Hydropower has made a significant contribution towards generating clean, renewable energy for many years. It currently produces more than half of the renewable power worldwide. In view of the challenges of climate change and the urgent need to substantially reduce CO₂ emissions, there are many good reasons to also continue focusing on hydro- power, as two very different ANDRITZ projects demonstrate.

In a few years, the Nenggiri hydropower plant will help to increase the share of renewable energy in Malaysia.


In spite of the rapid rise of renewable energy sources sources, for example wind power, biomass, solar power and geo­thermal heat, hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy, with a share of just over 50 percent. And it has several advantages: Hydroelectricity can be generated flexibly and accord­ing to needs. Hence, the power grids can be stabilized and enormous quantities of volatile wind and solar power, which are not available on demand, can be stored with the aid of pumped storage power stations.

In regions where the demand for energy will increase most rapidly in the next few years – such as Asia, South America and Africa – new large-scale plants will be built and there will be numerous smaller hydropower projects. However, there is also enormous potential in Europe and North America to resolve the “trilemma” of secure supply, sustainability and affordability of energy. Approximately half of the plants there are over 40 years old. Modernizing and upgrading them can make a substantial contribution to the energy supply.

The projects handled by around 7,000 ANDRITZ Hydro em­ploy­ees all over the world are proof of the opportunities that these two approaches offer. This is demonstrated in two examples – from Malaysia and Switzerland.

Dato' Nor Azman is Managing Director of the Malaysian energy company TNB Genco.

“ANDRITZ is a professional partner and provides excellent services. We are working together on a basis of trust.”

Dato’ Nor Azman, Managing Director of TNB Genco

Dawn of the Modern Age

Kelantan is a state in northeastern Malaysia with a population of around 1.8 million. In order to develop the economy here, which consists largely of small local businesses, and meet the region’s growing demand for energy, the new Nenggiri hydropower station is being built in the Gua Musang district and is to be completed by mid-2026. A consortium led by ANDRITZ will supply the entire electro- and hydro­mechanical equipment. The order comprises design, manufacture, delivery, installation, and commissioning of two 153-megawatt turbines and generators, together with the auxiliary equipment, and the complete electrical and me­chan­ical balance of plant. 

The hydropower facility is one of several government-­approved projects that are to help increase the share of renewable energy in Malaysia to 40 percent by 2035. And the plant has other advantages: “It will help to stabilize the national grid at peak load and, thanks to its ability to store large quantities of rainwater during the monsoon season, it will also play an important role in flood mitigation,” says Dato’ Nor Azman Mufti, Managing Director of TNB Genco, the Malay­sian customer and operator of the plant. In addition, the popula­tion will benefit from a better supply of clean water.

At the Ryburg-Schwörstadt hydropower plant, a bypass channel was built to enable fish migration (left in the picture).

© Kraftwerk Ryburg Schwörstadt AG

For TNB Genco, which already operates three hydroelectric schemes in Malaysia, currently with a total capacity of 2.54 gigawatts, this is the largest individual project for renewable energy to be implemented by the group at the moment. “Nenggiri guar­antees a safe, reliable and sustainable supply of electricity for the population and the country as a whole,” says Dato’ Nor Azman. “In the long term, the project can also contribute to the socio-economic development of the region, in aquaculture, for example, or ecotourism.” During the peak phase of construction work, the hydropower station will also create around 2,000 jobs for the local population and indigenous communities (Orang Asli).

“We are proud that sustainability really is practiced here, even across national borders.”

“From water-to-wire” – hydropower by ANDRITZ

Hydropower projects are technically demanding, complex and cost- intensive. They require technical know-how, experience, due care, and extensive knowledge of the region concerned. That is why many investors, project developers and customers rely on ANDRITZ.

What sets us apart:

  • 180 Years of experience in turbine design
  • 7,000 employees at 65 locations and 10 test stands worldwide
  • 32,000 turbine units delivered 
  • 471,000 MW of installed and modernized capacity
  • Complete portfolio for capacities up to more than 800 MW

For a sustainable future

Around 11,000 kilometers from Kelantan as the crow flies, on the border between Germany and Switzerland, hydropower is also the first choice. And has been for 92 years. With an installed capacity of 120 megawatts, Ryburg-Schwörstadt is the most powerful run-of-river hydropower plant on the ”Hochrhein”. The stretch of the river between Lake Constance and Basle has a 150-meter difference in altitude over a distance of 150 kilometers. Eleven dams make use of this differential. Ryburg-Schwörstadt power station alone generates around 760 GWh of eco-friendly electricity a year.

ANDRITZ was awarded the order to extensively refurbish all four Kaplan turbines here by 2027, including design, engineering, manufacture of new parts, factory overhaul, installation, testing and commissioning. The aim of this rehabilitation project is to guarantee the service life and operational safety up to the end of the concession period, which was extended until 2070 a few years ago.

“We are making the plant into a state-of-the-art facility, increasing its efficiency, and we can use it more effectively than ever in future in all operating modes,” says Beat Karrer, Managing Director of Ryburg-Schwörstadt AG power station. Particular attention was paid to ecological aspects by instal­ling oil-free bearing systems on the wicket gates and oil-free hubs for the new runners. “In this way, we can reduce the risk of oil accidentally leaking into the water, during operating disruptions for example, to virtually zero.”

The Swiss ANDRITZ subsidiary in Kriens is responsible for project management, logistics and transport, engineering, erection, and start-up.


The ANDRITZ manufacturing site in Ravensburg, Germany, produces new Kaplan runners and services the turbine components.


3D rendering for optimal turbine design: runner design and model testing take place at ANDRITZ's site in Tampere, Finland.


Considerable efforts were also made elsewhere to harmonize ecological, economic and social aspects in Ryburg-Schwörstadt. “Over eight years ago, we installed an ecological advisory commission in which we debated, adopted and regularly assessed measures together with policy makers, environmental organizations and local residents,” Beat Karrer explains. Around 20 million euros were invested in order to implement a whole set of measures: A bypass channel was built, for example, to guarantee unobstructed fish migration, compensation areas were created with exit points for wildlife in order to make it easier for animals to cross the Rhine, zones were set up to protect plants and small animals,  and hiking trails were established.

“We are proud that sustainability really is practiced here, even across national borders,” says Beat Karrer. “When efficient technologies, ecological will and economic efficiency work in harmony together, hydropower is an outstanding way of generating green energy.”    

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