Major gas conversion project in Indonesia

Wärtsilä Corporation, Trade press release 1 December 2005 at 14:00 UTC+2

Wärtsilä has received a contract to convert seven Wärtsilä 18V32 engines into dual-fuel operation at the Batamindo Industrial Park on the Indonesian island of Batam, where the conversion of another five Wärtsilä 18V32 engines is already underway. All the engines at the power plant will, after the conversions, operate mainly on natural gas.

PT Batamindo Investment Cakrawala acquired its first four Wärtsilä 18V32 generating sets in 1993 to deliver electrical power to the Batamindo Industrial Park. Since then, the Industrial Park has grown rapidly and power demand increased as a result.  To date, the power plant has sixteen Wärtsilä 18V32 engines. The Industrial Park covers an area of 320 hectares and employs more than 60,000 Indonesians. Some 50% of the tenants in the Industrial Park are involved in electronics and electrical manufacturing.

In 2004, natural gas became available on the island of Batam as the Sumatra–Singapore gas pipeline came into operation. PT Batamindo Investment Cakrawala considered how it might take advantage of this opportunity to save fuel costs by either converting the existing engines to run on natural gas instead of heavy fuel oil, installing a new gas turbine plant, or combining extension and conversion of the existing power plant. The third alternative of extension and conversion was chosen to give the plant flexibility in the fuel that can be used and because of its economical investment cost. As diesel and dual-fuel generating sets have better efficiencies than gas turbines in part-load operation, this option also provides the best efficiency for the plant as electrical demand from the Industrial Park varies.

The latest extension of the plant was contracted in March 2005. Comprising three Wärtsilä 18V32DF dual-fuel engines, it will increase the plant capacity to about 120 MWe. These engines are currently being installed and are due for commissioning by early 2006.

In May 2005 Wärtsilä was awarded the contract to convert five of the existing heavy fuel-burning Wärtsilä 32 engines to the DF (dual-fuel) version so that they can run on either natural gas (with pilot oil injection) or heavy fuel oil, and in November 2005 the contract to convert the remaining seven engines was signed. These are EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contracts covering engine components, ancillaries, control and automation, installation and commissioning. It is expected that all 12 engines will be converted and successfully run on gas before the end of 2006.

A gas conversion involves changes to the engine, the control system and power plant systems. The conversion of the engine is mainly restricted to the installation of a gas fuel system on the engine. For the plant systems it is necessary to install gas feed and gas handling systems, to change the exhaust gas system and to replace the power plant control and automation system.

Converting power plants to operate on fuels other than those for which they were originally designed provides operators and owners with environmental, operational and financial benefits. New efficient-fuel burning technologies and the ability to source other fuels at more competitive prices now make plant conversions commercially viable.

Wärtsilä has now completed several gas conversion projects in Portugal, Pakistan and is presently also handling projects Turkey and Germany. In each case, the fuel conversion has been made when the engines are approaching major overhauls. The marginal cost of combining a fuel conversion with a major overhaul makes the conversion financially attractive.

Notes to the editor:

Wärtsilä is a leading provider of power plants, operation and lifetime care services in decentralized power generation.

The company provides power plants for baseload, intermediate, peaking, standby and combined heat and power applications as well as solutions for oil pumping. The product range comprises gas- and oil-fired power plants with outputs from 1 MW to 300 MW, biopower plants with outputs from 1 to 5 MWe and biothermal plants for 3–17 MWth.

Wärtsilä is The Ship Power Supplier for builders, owners and operators of vessels and offshore installations. Our own global service network takes complete care of customers’ ship machinery at every lifecycle stage.

For further information, please contact:

Maria Nystrand
Public Relations Manager, Power Plants
Wärtsilä Finland Oy
Direct tel: +358 10 709 1456
Direct fax: +358 10 709 1425