Hand in hand with nature

Traunleiten, Austria

The hydropower plant Traunleiten in Upper Austria was officially inaugurated on September 18, 2021 with participation from high-ranking politicians and owner’s representatives. In their inauguration speeches, the dignitaries particularly emphasized the importance of Traunleiten in the energy transition for this Austrian province.

© Welsstrom GmbH

Located in a suburb of the city of Wels and originally built 120 years ago, the original hydropower plant has now been completely replaced by a new plant building and state-of-the-art electro-mechanical equipment. It is the largest project in the history of the owner, Wels Strom GmbH.

ANDRITZ was awarded a contract for the delivery of two 9.2 MW Compact Bulb turbines and a substantial package of auxiliaries, including the hydraulic power units and cooling system. The two bulb turbines as well as the synchronous bulb generators were manufactured at ANDRITZ’ own workshop.

"With this centennial project, we are not only pleased to secure a regional supply of green energy for future generations, but to also set sustainability benchmarks for both people and the environment", stated Franz Gruber MBA, Managing Director of Wels Strom.

Uncompromising protection of flora and fauna

The modern powerhouse building was designed with the goal of achieving harmony with nature and with sustainability in mind. The natural recreation area around the Traunleiten power plant has always been very valuable to the citizens of Wels. 

During construction of the new plant, the surrounding area was renaturalized to become even more attractive as a habitat for animals and a recreational area for the local population. With more than 150 bird species, the Untere Traun Bird Sanctuary is part of the Natura 2000 European protected area. It is one of the last remaining natural flowing water ecosystems in the whole of continental Europe and an important breeding ground and over-wintering area for waterfowl.

Due to the horizontal axis of the turbines, the new power plant is almost entirely built into the ground and inconspicuously blends into the surrounding area. The dynamic residual water management of the Traun River also provides new benefits for flora and fauna and offers endangered breeding bird species a protected habitat.

This pioneering hydropower plant was built within only 26 months. Using top-tier technology, the new plant layout achieves an 80% increase in power output with an estimated hydroelectric power production of 91 GWh annually. Traunleiten will thus provide sustainable and clean energy for over 60,000 local people today and for future generations too.

ANDRITZ is very proud to be part of this lighthouse green energy project.

© Welsstrom GmbH
© Welsstrom GmbH

Technical Details

Total output:

17.5 MW


2 × 9.2 MW


15 m


10.5 kV


200 rpm

Runner diameter:

3.100 mm

Av. annual production:

91 GWh


Authors: Alexander Bihlmayer, Marie-Antoinette Sailer

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