The technology group Wärtsilä commenced site work for a new 378-MW power plant being supplied on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract in El Salvador. This facility, ordered by Energía del Pacífico, will be the largest and most efficient power plant in El Salvador, and one of the first in Central America to be fired by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The installation will feed electricity to the national grid. A dedicated floating LNG import terminal will be built at the same location.
This new terminal represents an important addition to El Salvador’s energy infrastructure with clean, cheaper, and efficient power generation in the country. Today, close to 50% of the 1,600-MW generation capacity in El Salvador is based on oil fuel. The new environmentally friendly Wärtsilä Smart Power Generation plant will, thanks to the high efficiency level of the Wärtsilä 50SG engine, serve to lower the price of electricity locally. Furthermore, air quality will be improved since LNG fuel produces 30% less carbon emissions, and 99% less sulphur dioxide emissions, than conventional oil fuel.
The power plant will operate on nineteen Wärtsilä 50SG engines and a steam turbine in combined cycle, reaching a net plant efficiency of close to 50%. Wärtsilä’s DryFlexicycle technology, which consumes zero cooling water, will be employed thereby enhancing even further the sustainability of the project. Wärtsilä will also provide operation and maintenance services.
“This project marks an important milestone in the development of the country’s energy mix by utilising clean natural gas, and through the highly reliable, efficient, and flexible power offered by Wärtsilä’s multi-unit Flexicycle solution,” says Alejandro Alle, Managing Director of Energía del Pacífico.
“The starting of this project is the result of many years of work. The Wärtsilä plant will bring important benefits to El Salvador by enabling clean, efficient, and flexible power generation that will, because of its fast-starting capability, complement and facilitate increasing amounts of renewable energy in the system,” says Sampo Suvisaari, Regional Director, Latin America North and the Caribbean, Wärtsilä Energy Business.
The ground breaking ceremony took place on December 21, 2018 and was attended by the Vice President of El Salvador, Óscar Ortiz, the Mayor of Sonsonate, Roberto Aquino, as well as local officials and executives from Energía del Pacífico.
Wärtsilä’s installed capacity in Central America and the Caribbean totals 5 GW, and globally more than 68 GW.