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.
of engine power plant capacity installed.
Power plants installed across the continent
With more than 650 employees and service hubs located in Kenya, South Africa, 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.
Wärtsilä Energy Storage & Optimisation offers unrivalled solutions to the most pressing energy challenges, including the integration of more renewables.
Wärtsilä’s commitment to supporting the well-being of society is again emphasised with its recent entry into a strategic partnership with Ambitious.Africa, a young initiative that aims to act as a bridge between Africa and the Nordic countries. Ambitious.Africa supports and encourages young people in Africa and the Nordic countries to actively participate in working for a better future. It aims to increase well-being in these countries by facilitating the sustainable development of local entrepreneurship.
The partnership between Wärtsilä and Ambitious.Africa is based on their mutual values and goals to support the youth of Africa and Europe in striving for a sustainable future. By working together, the partners can connect students, entrepreneurs, start-up companies, financiers, and various stakeholders from both continents to address common challenges through a novel approach aimed at empowering future generations. This collaboration further highlights the need for more cross-pollination of aims and dialogue between businesses and the communities they serve. Diversity and decentralisation are essential if full advantage is to be gained from the opportunities provided by the entire spectrum of fresh ideas and available talent.
Wärtsilä has a strong presence in Africa, and is well placed to encourage local youth to become involved in the company’s work to transition energy production towards a 100 percent renewables future. As a corporation with global and local perspectives, Wärtsilä’s intention is to engage fully with the societies in which it operates. This means going beyond merely encouraging local employment and supply contracts, so by aligning with Ambitious.Africa, the company can add initiatives aimed at providing the knowledge, skills, and training that will support these efforts.
“The challenges we face as a society, from education to income inequality, and civil rights to healthcare and climate change, are crying for novel ideas and solutions. As a company with a long history, both in Africa and the Nordics, we know the real benefit of joining forces across a broad spectrum of ideas and talent. Through our partnership with Ambitious Africa, we seek to engage student and entrepreneur communities to muster the true strength of a digitally native generation whose ideas are not limited by geography or politics. My hope is that we untap the magic of boundaryless creativity, and my dream is that many future leaders will rise through this partnership to change the world for the better” explained Björn Ullbro, Vice President, Africa & Europe at Wärtsilä Energy.
Vincent Forsman, co-founder of Ambitious.Africa, added: “We are not on pace to reach many critical Sustainable Development Goals with the speed at which they are needed – we need to be ready to experiment with new approaches and include youth in the development discourse. We believe that it takes connected ecosystems of Non-Governmental Organisations, start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises, and prominent corporations to solve the problems we are currently facing. From our perspective, Wärtsilä is an ideal partner providing invaluable opportunities, both for young people and the communities in which they live. Combining the experience and know-how that Wärtsilä has, with the passion and ambition of the youth in Ambitious.Africa, is something truly novel - and a significant step towards empowering youth to take a significant role in shaping a sustainable future, both for themselves and their communities.”
Focus of main projects in 2021 is on local communities and university students
In 2021, the partnership will undertake three main projects; two focusing on local communities in Morocco and Nigeria, while the third will involve students at African and Nordic universities. In Nigeria, Ambitious. Africa will be hosting a six-part webinar for Master-Degree students, to learn about various sustainability issues. They will also participate in an Ideathon that could lead to potential solutions for positive change. The programme will end with an on-site event at the University of Ibadan on 24 April, which will include presentations on sustainability developments by experts from Wärtsilä and other world-renowned organisations. The participants will also be invited to participate in a workshop on innovative new solutions to tackle issues raised during the programme.
In Morocco, Pitch it! will feature a competition where local entrepreneurs involved in agri-tech, green innovation and sustainability can pitch their ideas. Climate change threatens the African continent and the goal is to encourage young entrepreneurs to help solve emerging issues with new innovative solutions.
Learn more about Ambitious.Africa
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Image caption: Wärtsilä and Ambitious.Africa form a strategic partnership based on their mutual values and goals to support the youth of Africa and Europe in striving for a sustainable future. © Ambitious.Africa
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 74 GW of power plant capacity and more than 80 energy storage systems delivered to 180 countries around the world.
Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in smart technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising sustainable innovation, total efficiency and data analytics, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2020, Wärtsilä's net sales totalled EUR 4.6 billion with approximately 18,000 employees. The company has operations in over 200 locations in more than 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki