Wärtsilä gas engine solutions to increase Egyptian power plant’s capacity by two thirds

Source: press release, 29 July 2019

Two Wärtsilä 20V34SG engines running on natural gas were added to increase the plant capacity by 19 MW
Two Wärtsilä 20V34SG engines running on natural gas were added to increase the plant capacity by 19 MW (photo: Wärtsilä)

The technology group Wärtsilä will supply additional capacity for an existing power plant located in Borg El Arab, an industrial city some 45 kilometres southwest of Alexandria, Egypt. The plant is owned and operated by the National Electricity Technology company, Kahraba, a part of the Egypt Kuwait Holdings (EKH) Group. Kahraba is one of the largest private electricity service providers in Egypt. The order with Wärtsilä was placed in June 2019.

The engineering and equipment (EEQ) contract is for two Wärtsilä 34SG engines running on natural gas fuel. The engines will have a combined output of 19 MW and will increase the plant’s capacity by two thirds.

This additional utility grid capacity is needed to support the areas growing industrial base. The existing plant runs on three Wärtsilä 34SG engines.

“The local industries impose increasing demand on power capacity. The Wärtsilä engines will help alleviate this situation and will enable us to deliver a reliable electricity supply to our customers, thus supporting industrial growth in the area. To extend the power plant with proven Wärtsilä design was a natural choice” says Ahmed Nassr-Eldin Khaled, Deputy Technical General Manager, Kahraba.

“Our smart power generation technology will provide added flexibility, as well as capacity to the local grid here. Furthermore, the low noise specification for the radiators, plus the fact that the engines will operate on domestic natural gas, will enhance the plant’s environmental footprint,” says Magnus Miemois, Regional Director, Wärtsilä Energy Business.

The new equipment will be delivered to the site in January 2020, and the extended facility is expected to become operational towards the end of that year. EKH Group also operates an older plant with Wärtsilä engines.

Egypt has one of the largest electricity grids in the African continent. In recent years, there have been significant additions of large centralised generation capacity in the Egyptian grid, and the use of renewable energy sources is growing rapidly. The government has set targets for renewables to make up 42% of the country’s electricity mix by 2035, based on rapid solar and wind energy deployment.

With an increasing share of renewable energy sources, the grid will need more flexible generation capacity. The power plant in Borg el Arab with Wärtsilä gas engines provides flexibility, which allows to integrate more renewables into the grid.