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India - Sholayar

In July 2015, ANDRITZ HYDRO signed a contract for the renovation, moderni­za­tion, and upgrade of the Sholayar hydro­power plant, located on the Sholayar River in Tamil Nadu, India.

The project on behalf of Tamil Nadu State Generation & Distribution Corporation Ltd. (TANGEDCO) - an utility owned by the state government - currently comprises two power houses, Stage I (2 × 35 MW) and Stage II (1 × 25 MW).

Unit hall

Unit hall

The equipment for the Stage I powerhouse was originally commissioned in 1971 and has been operating for more than 350,000 hours. ANDRITZ HYDRO will supply the electro-mechanical equipment for both units, including design, CFD analysis, engineering, manufacturing, delivery, erection, testing, and commissioning. Within the scope of supply new turbines, generators, runners, automation panels, and certain balance of plant equipment are included. After uprating, the plant capacity will be changed from 70 MW (2 × 35 MW) to 84 MW (2 × 42 MW) representing an overall out­put increase by 20%.

In the past, ANDRITZ HYDRO has renovated, uprated, and modernized sev-eral projects for this customer, namely HPP Shivasamudram and HPP Periyar. This is ANDRITZ HYDRO’s third service and rehabilitation project in the state of Tamil Nadu.

The guaranteed technical parameters required by the customer are challenging for the cooperating teams from ANDRITZ HYDRO India, Austria, Switzerland, Ger­many and China.

Overall completion period of the project is only 42 months. Delivery of the first unit, including reverse engineering, is scheduled within 18 months of contract signing. With the successful exe­cution of this order, ANDRITZ HYDRO will further strengthen its position in the Indian hydropower market and retain its leading position in the state of Tamil Nadu.


The project execution was very a challenging task. The hydropower plant is located deep inside a forest reserve area, which is hard to access via narrow and winding roads in bad condition. Legal restrictions made alterations to the road nearly impossible. Transporting the goods to the site was therefore an interesting task requiring a capable crew and top tier equipment. The outside work on the penstocks and upstream and downstream waterways was demanding due to the dangerous fauna and difficult environmental circumstances. The remote location made a daily back and forth travelling of the installation crew necessary, limiting thus the working hours.

The main scope of our work was the replacement of turbines, generators, as well as electrical and mechanical auxiliaries. The reverse engineering had to be completed within six months, the supply of U1 within 12 months, and erection and commissioning within 12 months for each unit. Due to a delay of the LoC the execution period of the whole project was extended by nine months. The whole project took 53 months from handing over of the first unit for reverse engineering until commissioning.

Despite all circumstances, ANDRITZ completed the reverse engineering within only three months, three month prior as per contract; project commissioning was also completed early. In the end, both units were renovated and uprated six months ahead of schedule, making the additional power generation of Sholayar earlier available to the customer. The customer TANGEDECO is very satisfied with the performance of the units.


Stage I: 
Output2 × 42 MW
2 × 56 MVA
Voltage11 kV
Head379 m
Speed750 rpm
Runner diameter1,675 mm

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