The technology group Wärtsilä, together with Maldives’ government-owned State Electric Company (STELCO), celebrate 30 years of continuous operation of its generating sets providing power to Malé, the capital of Maldives. In 1990, STELCO purchased the first Wärtsilä engines for its Malé power station. These engines continue to operate with a high degree of efficiency still today, thus emphasising the engines’ robust technology, reliability, and long-life expectancy, while also acknowledging the excellent workmanship of STELCO’s engineers in operating and maintaining engine power plants.
This successful installation has also formed the basis for a strong long-lasting relationship between Wärtsilä and STELCO. Since that initial investment STELCO has added six more Wärtsilä engines to the Malé plant, and in 2019 six Wärtsilä engines were installed at STELCO’s power plant on the island of Hulhumalé. All these installed generating sets are in use, efficiently providing power to their regions. The total generating capacity supplied by Wärtsilä to Maldives is currently approximately 100 MW.
The relationship has been further strengthened by Wärtsilä’s lifecycle services. Over the years, Wärtsilä has supported and trained STELCO engineers in the operation and maintenance of the power plants, and has upgraded the Wärtsilä engines at the Malé power plant. These upgrades ensure efficient and reliable operation and the reduction of fuel consumption and emissions. The recently completed Wärtsilä state-of-the-art engine control and monitoring system is an example of such an upgrade, providing improved operational performance, effective load sharing, and better data archiving. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wärtsilä has supported STELCO digitally in ensuring the plant’s operational reliability.
“Maldives is an island nation mainly thriving on tourism and resorts. The engine power plants are required to perform at optimum levels at all times to ensure a reliable supply of energy for the communities and businesses in varying situations. We have benefited from Wärtsilä’s technical capabilities and customer support since the installation of the first Wärtsilä engines in 1990. The fact that those engines continue to provide reliable and efficient power to our community after so many years is truly outstanding. Wärtsilä’s past, present, and future commitment to supplying our electricity needs in the ongoing energy transition with an increasing share of renewables is much appreciated,” commented Ahmed Shareef, Managing Director State Electric Company Limited.
“The cooperation and understanding between our two companies has been first class. To be delivering baseload power with the same engines for 30 years is an achievement for which we can be extremely proud. It also speaks highly of STELCO’s careful management of the facility. We hope this relationship will continue in the years ahead when the Government of the Republic of Maldives, together with STELCO, aims to further increase its share of energy from wind and solar. As a global leader in the energy transition, Wärtsilä is excited to be supporting the integration of renewable energy into the system,” said Henri van Boxtel, Director, South Asia, Wärtsilä Energy.
Maldives envisages reaching net-zero emissions by the year 2030 with the support of international organisations. Already today, hybrid installations with solar and energy storage have been installed on many of the smaller islands. The flexibility of the Wärtsilä engines, which can reach full output in just minutes from start-up, enables highly effective grid balancing to compensate for the inherent fluctuation of renewable energy supplies, thus making engines a perfect match for renewable integration now and in the future. Wärtsilä’s commitment to the research and development of its engines to operate on future sustainable fuels, such as hydrogen, ammonia and biofuels, ensures that the assets are future-proof.
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Image caption: Wärtsilä engines have been in operation at Stelco's Malé power station for 30 years - an evidence of reliable technology and excellent workmanship of Stelco's engineers. © Wärtsilä Corporation
Wärtsilä Energy in brief
Wärtsilä Energy leads the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. We help our customers in decarbonisation by developing market-leading technologies. These cover future-fuel enabled balancing power plants, hybrid solutions, energy storage and optimisation technology, including the GEMS energy management platform. Wärtsilä Energy’s lifecycle services are designed to increase efficiency, promote reliability and guarantee operational performance. Our track record comprises 76 GW of power plant capacity and 110 energy storage systems delivered to 180 countries around the world.
Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in innovative technologies and lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. We emphasise innovation in sustainable technology and services to help our customers continuously improve their environmental and economic performance. Our dedicated and passionate team of 17,000 professionals in more than 200 locations in 68 countries shape the decarbonisation transformation of our industries across the globe. In 2021, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 4.8 billion. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.