Commissioning of the 54 Alstom ECO74 1.67MW turbines is almost complete, to be followed by reliability tests, says Patrick Leguillette, project engineer at France-based developer Vergnet.

Vergnet built the plant on a turnkey basis for the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) and supplied 30 of its 1MW GEV HP turbines for phase I.

These came online late 2011 and have been running with 96% availability, Leguillette said.

The entire project was originally to be equipped with Vergnet machines, but the location of the turbines then had to be changed when the air-corridor of nearby Makele airport was rerouted.

Instead, Vergnet decided Alstom’s ECO74 machines were better suited to the more mountainous terrain and turbulent winds.

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