Wärtsilä wins contract to extend Italian liquid biofuel-fired plant

Wärtsilä Corporation, Trade press release 11 May 2005 at 15:00 UTC+2

Wärtsilä has been contracted by ItalGreen Energy, part of the Casa Olearia Italiana Group (COI), a major Italian food oil producer, to extend a liquid biofuel power plant in Monopoli, Italy. A third Wärtsilä 18V32 engine is to be added to the plant, which is already powered by two similar engines running on liquid biofuel (vegetable oil).

In 2003, ItalGreen Energy took delivery of two Wärtsilä 18V32 generating sets in the Monopoli plant with a total power output of 16 MWe. The two sets have since August 2004 accumulated 5000 running hours in commercial operation with an average plant availability of more than 95%. After completion of the extension with the third generating set, ordered in December 2004, the total combined heat and power (CHP) plant output will reach 24 MWe. The extended baseload power plant, scheduled to come on stream in summer 2005, will be the largest liquid biofuel-fired plant ever built.

The main purpose of the Monopoli power plant, located inside an existing vegetable oil refinery, is to generate ‘green’ electricity to be sold to the national grid through a 150 kV connection at a fixed price. The plant also produces steam and electrical power to meet factory process demands. Generating ‘green’ energy from liquid biofuels offers important advantages. Biofuels enable the simultaneous generation of electricity and heat with no sulphur emissions and no consumption of fossil fuel resources. As the biofuels are classed as renewable, no additional CO2 is emitted and they thus contribute to reducing the greenhouse effect.

The Monopoli plant is the result of successful project co-operation between Wärtsilä and ItalGreen Energy since the project started in 2002. The Wärtsilä 18V32 solution was selected as the best and most profitable choice owing its high product quality, good engine performance and brand guarantee.

“The high level of knowledge and experience of the people involved, on both the ItalGreen Energy and Wärtsilä sides, together with a good working relationship, have been key factors in helping us reach our targets,” comments Mr Leonardo Marseglia, President of COI. “We are happy to see that the tough work, especially at the fuel testing stage, has been well rewarded. All of us can be proud of this project and its results.”

Wärtsilä is responsible for the fuel tests, detailed engineering, full generating set package delivery, start-up and erection supervision, while ItalGreen Energy will handle the civil works, erection and site activities for the plant.

Liquid biofuel-based energy production represents one of the best ways of ensuring the economic viability of ‘green’ energy projects in Italy. Moreover, the high overall power plant performance that can be reached using medium-speed reciprocating engines makes ‘green’ energy an increasingly attractive alternative to electricity generation based on liquid fossil fuels.

For further information, please contact: Yvonne Rönn Public Relations Manager, Power Plants Wärtsilä Finland Oy Direct tel: +358 10 709 1456 Direct fax: +358 10 709 1425 e-mail: yvonne.ronn@wartsila.com

John Goss
Ceejay International Limited
Tel: +852 2310 1368
Fax: +852 2609 1351
e-mail: john@ceejay.com.hk