Africa is ready to provide enough energy to achieve the most ambitious of goals, and it can do it while maintaining all environmental targets.
We believe careful planning of power systems towards more sustainable and diversified energy supply portfolios can save billions and rapidly reduce CO2 emissions. We create value through our extensive power system knowledge and experience from integrating different generating assets.
On this page, you may find our best materials and proceedings in energising and decarbonising the continent of Africa.
Power plants installed across the continent
of engine power plant capacity installed.
African countries served
With more than 650 employees and service hubs located in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Senegal, Wärtsilä is proud to have contributed to many industry firsts. These include Africa’s largest gas engine power plant on the Kribi coast of Cameroon with 216MW capacity, as well as Africa’s highest installation, the 175 MW power plant in Sasolburg, South Africa, sitting at 1,700 meters above sea level.
Another first, the KivuWatt power plant in Rwanda, is the first ever power plant to use the naturally occurring methane from lake Kivu to generate electricity and reduce the environmental risks associated with such high concentrations of gas. Today’s power output is 25 MW but future planned expansions to this project will increase capacity by an additional 75 MW.
The Essakane gold mine in Burkina Faso receives its needed power from Africa’s largest engine-solar PV hybrid power plant delivered by Wärtsilä. Benefits for the mine include reduced fuel costs and a smaller carbon footprint. The capability to control and optimise the usage of the solar PV power and engines enables the gold mine to reduce its fuel consumption by an estimated 6 million litres per year and its annual CO2 emissions by 18,500 tons.
With 450 MW of installed capacity in Senegal, Wärtsilä is the country’s leading provider of power generation equipment. The Matelec company placed an order for the delivery of an energy efficient 130 MW Flexicycle™ power plant. This investment will enable Senegal to achieve its goal of reducing consumer electricity pricing.
This power plant utilises naturally occurring methane gas from Lake Kivu to generate electricity via Wärtsilä 34SG engines. Total output will be 25 MW. By reducing gas levels in the lake while, at the same time, providing additional power generating capacity, both environmental and economic targets can be met. This is the first time that Lake Kivu’s methane gas will be used to fuel a power plant of this size.
Cape Town, South Africa
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The technology group Wärtsilä has signed a 10-year Guaranteed Asset Performance agreement with Malicounda Power SAS of Senegal. The contract covers the 130 MW Malicounda Melec power plant located in Mbour, south of Senegal’s capital Dakar, scheduled to be commissioned in June 2022. The long-term service agreement targets the further strengthening of Malicounda Power’s position as a power producer for Senegal’s grid. The signing took place in February 2022, and Wärtsilä will start to recognise order intake once the plant has been commissioned and is in operation.
The Wärtsilä Flexicycle power plant will operate with seven Wärtsilä 50 engines. It combines the advantages of a flexible simple cycle operation with the outstanding efficiency of a combined cycle plant. The agreement will provide operational reliability with scheduled maintenance and spare parts, as well as heat rate and power output guarantees after major overhauls.
“We have contractual obligations that must be met, which is why the plant’s operational reliability is extremely important. Wärtsilä’s maintenance support and capabilities as the Original Equipment Manufacturer will be essential to ensure that we meet our commitments. Wärtsilä’s proven competency and excellent results achieved globally are convincing. They provide efficient engines and are experts in their operation & maintenance,” said Samer Nasr, President, Malicounda Power SAS.
“This power plant will add much needed generating capacity to the Senegal grid. It is an example of us creating value for our customers with industry leading availability and uptime, which is critical for the grid. This agreement will deliver high efficiency and productivity, together with cost predictability for the owners. Our strong presence in the country, along with our remote support capabilities, allow us to provide the essential performance guarantees required,” added Marc Thiriet, Director, Africa West, Wärtsilä Energy.
Remote support from Wärtsilä’s Expertise Centres is central to meeting the objectives of the agreement with Malicounda Power SAS. The support is based on Expert Insight, a unique and innovative digital predictive maintenance tool utilising artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced diagnostics to monitor equipment and systems in real-time. Should anomalous behaviour be detected, it is flagged to specialists at a Wärtsilä Expertise Centre, allowing them to provide proactive support with an appropriate resolution before it becomes a major issue.
Commissioning of the power plant is scheduled for June 2022. The plant will initially operate with heavy fuel oil (HFO) but there is an option to convert to gas fuelled operation as soon as a gas supply becomes available. Currently, there is an inter-governmental cooperation agreement between Senegal and Mauritania to develop significant gas resources, which will be shared by the two African countries. The power plant is expected to help Senegal bring down energy costs and integrate more renewable energy.
Wärtsilä is Senegal’s leading provider of power generating equipment, and already has 543 MW of installed capacity in altogether 20 power plants in the country. With the Malicounda Melec power plant included, 458 MW of this capacity is under Wärtsilä long-term service agreements.
Earlier published press release
Learn more about Wärtsilä Lifecycle solutions
Article Optimising power plant operations through remote support
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Image 1: Remote support from Wärtsilä’s Expertise Centres is central to meeting the objectives of the 10-year Guaranteed Asset Performance agreement with Malicounda Power SAS. © Wärtsilä Corporation
Image 2: Wärtsilä 10-year Guaranteed Asset Performance agreement with Malicounda Power SAS covers the 130 MW Malicounda Melec power plant located in Mbour, Senegal. Courtesy of Malicounda Power SAS
Wärtsilä Energy in brief
Wärtsilä Energy leads the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. We help our customers in decarbonisation by developing market-leading technologies. These cover future-fuel enabled balancing power plants, hybrid solutions, energy storage and optimisation technology, including the GEMS energy management platform. Wärtsilä Energy’s lifecycle services are designed to increase efficiency, promote reliability and guarantee operational performance. Our track record comprises 76 GW of power plant capacity and 110 energy storage systems delivered to 180 countries around the world.
Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in innovative technologies and lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. We emphasise innovation in sustainable technology and services to help our customers continuously improve their environmental and economic performance. Our dedicated and passionate team of 17,000 professionals in more than 200 locations in 68 countries shape the decarbonisation transformation of our industries across the globe. In 2021, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 4.8 billion. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.
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