Wärtsilä power plants to support Dominican Republic growth

Source: press release, 18 February 2019

Designed to provide the same output regardless of the fuel, the Wärtsilä 50DF can smoothly switch between fuels whilst operating
Designed to provide the same output regardless of the fuel, the Wärtsilä 50DF can smoothly switch between fuels whilst operating (photo: Wärtsilä)

The technology group Wärtsilä has successfully handed over projects for two Wärtsilä engine power plants installed in the Dominican Republic. The additional capacity is needed to meet the increasing electricity demand from the country’s growing tourist industry. Both hand-overs took place in December 2018.

Consorcio Energético Punta Cana-Macao (CEPM), a privately-owned utility company, ordered a 51 MW power plant from Wärtsilä to be delivered on a fast-track, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis in the end of 2017 and the project was completed in less than one year. The baseload power plant will deliver a reliable supply of electricity to hotels, restaurants, local industries and residential customers in the popular tourist resorts of the Punta Cana-Bávaro and Bayahibe areas.

The power is provided by three Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines, which will operate primarily on natural gas when it becomes locally available. The plant will also provide steam for thermal customers. CEPM is an established customer having earlier ordered various power plant projects from Wärtsilä.

“We know Wärtsilä and have complete confidence in their technology, and their ability to deliver a highly reliable and efficient solution on a fast-track schedule,” comments Roberto Herrera, Executive Director and Country Manager for InterEnergy Holdings, CEPM’s parent company.

Sampo Suvisaari, Regional Director, Latin America North and the Caribbean, Wärtsilä Energy Business, says, “Wärtsilä has been active in the Dominican Republic for many years and we are delighted to be working with CEPM again on this important project. The extra capacity now available will allow the local power system to reliably meet the growing energy demand.”

Wärtsilä has also handed over a 9.16 MW extension to the Grupo Punta Cana power plants delivered in 2005 and 2014. The latest project involved the installation of a Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel engine capable of operating on natural gas, heavy fuel oil (HFO), or diesel. The project also made available all the common auxiliaries required for an extra engine to be added later if required, thereby enabling a reserve for future extra capacity.

“Fuel flexibility is an important benefit of Wärtsilä’s Smart Power Generation approach, and as an enabler for renewable energy sources within the system. The high efficiency is retained, even in the varying high temperature conditions that can be expected in the Caribbean,” adds Suvisaari.