Kyzzhibek Ryszhanova & Martina Römmelt-Fella

German-Kazakh business cooperation on renewable energy: Martina Römmelt-Fella, CEO of DIVE Turbinen GmbH & Co. KG, and Kyzzhibek Ryszhanova, Deputy Director of KelesHydroStroy in Kazakhstan, are stepping up the energy transition in Central Asia with the help of hydropower turbines.

‘It’s not just about hydro turbines and electricity capacity. Our German-Kazakh cooperation is helping to achieve the climate goals.’

Kyzzhibek Ryszhanova

Ms Römmelt-Fella, Ms Ryszhanova, how did your partnership begin?

Martina Römmelt-Fella: The Exportacademy Baden-Württemberg put us in touch with Kyzzhibek Ryszhanova. In early 2017, she was taking part in what was then called the Manager Training Programme and looking for a German manufacturer of hydropower technology. We first met at Hannover Messe and saw eye to eye straight away.

Kyzzhibek Ryszhanova: We did! Our company was planning a third hydropower project on a river in southern Kazakhstan and in 2017 we were looking for the latest and best in hydro turbine technology.

What role did Partnering in Business with Germany play in bringing about cooperation with a German company?

Kyzzhibek Ryszhanova: The programme provided support with finding the right partners in Germany. And it gave me valuable information on how to do business with German companies and build a strong and sustainable relationship.

What tipped the scales in favour of working with DIVE Turbinen? Had you heard about this medium-sized company from Amorbach in Bavaria before coming to Germany?

Kyzzhibek Ryszhanova: No, not at all. But during my time in Germany, I got to know of five different turbine manufacturers, one of which was DIVE. Like ourselves, the company started out as a family business. That’s something we have in common. We chose DIVE Turbinen because of their innovative approach.

Martina Römmelt-Fella: Our technology was a perfect match for the needs of Kyzzhibek’s company. So we were able to get our cooperation off the ground quickly. Our turbines have been running at the Darkhan hydropower plant since 2020.

What changes has this cooperation brought about for your respective companies?

Martina Römmelt-Fella: This partnership has been a turning point. Traditionally, we built machines with a capacity of up to one megawatt, but this project has led us to develop machines with a much bigger output. From a technological standpoint, it was a huge step for our company and opens up new opportunities for us in Kazakhstan and beyond.

Kyzzhibek Ryszhanova: It was a big step forward for us too. Before the cooperation, our capacity was around three megawatts from the two plants. With the new turbines installed in the third hydropower plant, we are now producing 7.5 megawatts in total. This means we are helping to improve energy security for people in our region of Kazakhstan.

Where does it go from here?

Martina Römmelt-Fella: We are planning further joint projects in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, with the aim of achieving an additional 20 megawatts of output. This cooperation is more than just a business deal. It’s a partnership that is constantly evolving – giving us new perspectives and opening doors in the region.

Kyzzhibek Ryszhanova: It’s not just about hydro turbines and electricity capacity. Our German-Kazakh cooperation is helping to achieve the climate goals. We’re proud that this partnership is promoting a sustainable future for our region.