In May 2003, Wärtsilä won a contract to convert two heavy fuel oil (HFO) power plants in Portugal to diesel gas installations. In a move that will satisfy environmental targets by decreasing emissions and strengthening plant profitability, Wärtsilä will be responsible for conversion, as well as scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.
The plants in question are the António Almeida & Filhos Texteis SA and Sociedade Têxtil Tearfil SA, situated near the city of Porto, in North-West Portugal – both were built by Wärtsilä in 1995. Both facilities have accumulated 64,000 running hours in HFO operation.
The Almeida’s engine is being reconditioned and converted to DG specification in Vaasa, Finland before being sent to Portugal in December 2003. And the Tearfil plant – which still runs on HFO – will be converted on site once the Almeida power plant is re-commissioned. In addition to upgrading the engines, Wärtsilä is also responsible for adapting the automation systems.
With DG engines, the Almeida and Tearfil installations will benefit from low emissions; large fuel flexibility and good tolerance to variations in fuel quality, and fast load response with a good loading capacity. In addition, they will also enjoy a short start-up time; automatic transfer to back up fuel; long maintenance-free periods; and easy maintenance.
The Almeida and Tearfil DG conversions are not the first of their kind performed by Wärtsilä in Portugal. In June 2001, the Tintrofa textile plant in the city of Trofa was re-commissioned after adapting the plant from HFO to gas operation – a Wärtsilä Vasa 12V32E to a Wärtsilä 12V34SG conversion. This was a fast track project, which took six weeks to complete. The Tintrofa renovation has been a huge success. The plant has accumulated more than 10,000 operating hours and availability figures exceed 98%.
In addition to these statistics, the REE (Equivalent Electrical Efficiency) for the Tintrofa plant, reached highs of 70%. Cogeneration efficiency targets are extremely important in Portugal, as they gauge the profitability of a business.
With proven fast track capability, 98% availability and 70% cogeneration efficiency figures – Wärtsilä was the natural choice for the Almeida and Tearfil DG conversions.