Wärtsilä, a leading supplier of flexible power plants and services for the decentralized power generation market, has received contracts from three Brazilian independent power producers (IPPs) to provide conversions for their generating stations. The conversions will enable them to attain fuel flexibility and switch from heavy fuel oil (HFO) to gas operation.
The combined value of the three contracts, which were received in January 2009, is in excess of EUR 48 million. These combined plant conversions represent the biggest project of its kind ever undertaken by Wärtsilä Services. The converted plants are expected to be fully operational in October 2010.
When the conversions are completed, the power plants will be fully compliant with the stipulated flexibility requirements, allowing the fuel to be switched instantly from liquid to gas, or vice versa. The customers will have a choice of alternative fuels for environmental as well as for redundancy reasons, and will be able to take advantage of lowest fuel cost options.
In addition to the engine conversions, the scope of the contracts includes the installation of the main gas fuel system equipment and the gas compressor units, and the modification of the control and electrical systems. The electrical output from the plants will remain the same whether they run on HFO or gas. Furthermore, the fuel sharing system allows the engines to run on gas and liquid fuel in different proportions. This will optimize the operation of the plants according to the availability of the fuels.
The three customers, which are Geradora de Energia do Amazonas S/A, Companhia Energética Manauara, and Rio Amazonas Energia SA (a part of MULTINER S/A), all have power plants located in Manaus city, Brazil. All three plants were delivered by Wärtsilä in 2006, with each of them being predesigned to facilitate the conversion.
The three power plants have five Wärtsilä 18V46 engines each, and the total power output is more than 85 MW per plant. Wärtsilä currently operates and maintains all three plants under contract, thereby ensuring their optimum performance and reliability.
To date Wärtsilä has a total of close to 1800 MW of generating capacity installed, on order or under construction in Brazil.
In commenting on the implications of these conversions, Tomas Hakala, President of Wärtsilä in Latin America commented: “These combined plant conversions represent the biggest project of its kind ever undertaken by Wärtsilä Services. The size and scope of the project, together with the fact that the work is to be carried out at three separate sites, means that it is an interesting challenge. However, it is a challenge that Wärtsilä is more than capable of meeting and we anticipate that the converted plants will be fully operational on schedule in October 2010.”
The customers all indicated a desire to be able to use all possible fuel alternatives in the future, for environmental as well as for redundancy reasons, and to take advantage of lowest fuel cost options. The key driver, however, has been the anticipated availability of natural gas to the region in 2010.
The gas conversions will be carried out one engine at the time, in all three power plants concurrently. Wärtsilä in Brazil has set up a project management organization to best organize the human and parts logistics to ensure the delivery meets the contractual terms. Moreover, Wärtsilä maintains the same guarantee of availability in the Service agreements, both before and after the gas conversion. This underlines and demonstrates the confidence in and reliability of the provided solution.
Wärtsilä is at the forefront in the development of multi-fuel engine technology, and when the conversions are completed, the engines will be fully compliant with the flexibility requirements, allowing the fuel to be switched instantly from liquid to gas, or vice versa.
Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä enhances the business of its customers by providing them with complete lifecycle power solutions. When creating better and environmentally compatible technologies, Wärtsilä focuses on the marine and energy markets with products and solutions as well as services. Through innovative products and services, Wärtsilä sets out to be the most valued business partner of all its customers. This is achieved by the dedication of close to 19,000 professionals manning 160 locations in 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on the Nordic Exchange in Helsinki, Finland.
For further information, please contact:
President of Wärtsilä in Latin America
Tel: +55 21 3878 8970
Wärtsilä Power Plants
Direct tel: +358 10 709 1456