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22:08 on Wednesday
25 June 2003

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Africa's largest green turbine switched on as Earth Summit meets

The 20 MW Peter Brotherhood steam turbine being lowered into place through a hole in the roof of the Hippo Valley sugar mill.

As world leaders gathered for the UN Earth Summit in Johannesburg, Africa's largest 'green' turbine began generating power for the grid in Zimbabwe.

Technicians from UK turbine manufacturer Peter Brotherhood completed commissioning the 20 MW turbo-alternator set which was designed and manufactured by the company for contractor PMS.

The machine is installed at the sugar mill in Hippo Valley near Chirezdi, Zimbabwe, owned by Hippo Valley Estates. It uses steam raised from burning bagasse - the waste material left after the processing of sugar cane - to generate electrical power and the exhaust steam is used in the sugar refining process.

This is an extremely 'green' form of power generation as all the CO2 released during the combustion of the bagasse is absorbed again the following year by the growing crop.

Peter Brotherhood won the contract because of its extensive experience of designing, manufacturing and installing such machines. The company has more than 500 steam turbines operating in sugar mills around the world, including more than 100 in Africa.

The machine in Hippo Valley is almost 50 per cent bigger than any similar turbine known to be operating in Africa. As well as supplying electricity for the sugar mill it provides power to the Zimbabwean grid.

August 2002




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