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Voith Hydro has big plans for AfricaYork County international business signs agreement with Chinese company to extend hydroelectric projects on continent

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A York County company expects to play a role in the developing hydropower market in Africa, and an agreement signed this week should help.

With the leaders of China and Germany watching, the parent company of Voith Hydro Inc. signed a pact with a Chinese state-owned power company. The agreement calls for increased cooperation between the two in promoting hydropower business in the African market.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel witnessed the signing in Berlin of a joint agreement between Hubert Lienhard, president and CEO of Voith Group, and Lu Chun, chairman of China Three Gorges Corp.

Founded in 1867, Voith today has around 19,000 employees internationally, sales of $4.7 billion and locations in more than 60 countries worldwide.

The manufacturer of hydroelectric power-generation equipment has its North American headquarters in West Manchester Township.

Voith and China Three Gorges already have a history of cooperation, a Voith news release said, and the new pact calls for continuing the cooperation between the two companies in Africa, a continent with an estimated 1.2 billion people.

China Three Gorges first came to Africa 50 years ago, and now has over 300 completed or ongoing projects covering more than 30 countries and districts, Voith officials said.

The agreement came just ahead of the G20 Summit being held this week in Hamburg, Germany.

Also under the agreement, Voith will supply two 350-megawatt units for the $1.5 billion Zhejiang Changlongshan pumped storage hydropower station in China. That project is being constructed by China Three Gorges Corp. and is in Zhejiang Province, Voith officials also said.

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David O'Connor

David O'Connor

Dave O'Connor covers York County, manufacturing, higher education, nonprofits, and workforce development. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at doconnor@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @DaveOC_CPBJ.

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