"We chose engine technology for reliability and efficiency.”
- Guillermo Barragán Toledo, Country Manager of Energía del Caribe, S.A.
Mexico is quickly amending its energy laws, creating a new electricity market and allowing the private sector to participate freely in the generation and sale of electricity. The new strategy targets private and international investors, thus changing the market situation. The new regulations pave way for independent power producer (IPP) projects that will help the Mexican energy sector to not only cover the national demand but also export electricity to its neighbouring countries.
This is exactly what Energía del Caribe, S.A. plans to do with a 139 MW Wärtsilä Flexicycle power plant in Northern Mexico. In the unique tri-national project, natural gas from the United States will be imported to the power plant near the city of Monterrey, and the electricity will be transmitted through Mexico to Guatemala.
The creative solution allows electricity based on natural gas to be used in Guatemala for the first time. As the government of Guatemala favours cleaner energy production, this helped Energía del Caribe to win power purchase agreements (PPA). Natural gas is normally not available for power production in Guatemala, where the largest source of electricity is oil.
According to the PPAs, Energía del Caribe, S.A. will deliver approximately 950 GWh of electricity per year to utilities in Guatemala. To reach the target, the Huinala power plant will run at full baseload output for 24 hours a day.
“We chose internal combustion engines to ensure reliability. If one of the seven engines is under maintenance, the other six are fully operational. This is how we avoid cut-offs”, says Guillermo Barragán Toledo, Country Manager of Energía del Caribe, S.A. The capacity of six engines is sufficient to reach the 950 GWh target. “Another reason was fuel efficiency. In this size range, engines are the most efficient technology. We also like the fact that engines maintain high efficiency in extreme temperatures.” To maximise efficiency, Wärtsilä Flexicycle power plants include a combined cycle steam turbine.
For Energía del Caribe, S.A., this new project is their first international one, and the first with internal combustion engines. This called for a reliable and experienced partner in order to guarantee a successful implementation. According to Juan Buitrón, General Manager of Energía del Caribe, S.A., Wärtsilä’s capability to produce efficient, flexible and reliable energy was essential to meet the PPA obligations in Guatemala. The modular design makes it very easy to expand operations depending on the market demands. Another asset is Wärtsilä’s fast-track delivery, which allows even partial handover. This means installing and starting some of the gensets before the whole facility is completed, helping to meet PPA deadlines which can be tight.
|| Energía del Caribe, S.A. (IPP)
|| Wärtsilä 50SG Flexicycle power plant
| Operating mode
|| 7 x Wärtsilä 50SG
| Total output
|| 139 MW
|| Natural gas
|| EPC (engineering, procurement and construction)
Read the success story in this brochure
If you want to know more about the Huinala project, please contact
Business Development Manager, Central America & South America North
Wärtsilä Energy Solutions
+1 832 205 51 14