Wärtsilä 31SG engines to secure reliable energy supply in Argentinian oil fields

Source: press release, 22 January 2019

With extreme high efficiency and flexibility, Wärtsilä 31SG engines operate on natural gas (photo: Wärtsilä)
With extreme high efficiency and flexibility, Wärtsilä 31SG engines operate on natural gas (photo: Wärtsilä)

The technology group Wärtsilä has been selected to supply a highly efficient engine power plant for one of the most important petroleum companies in Argentina. The gas fired plant will have an initial output of 57.4 MW, which can later be increased to 90 MW. The electricity produced will primarily be used to power the local oil fields, with any excess being sold to the national grid. The order with Wärtsilä comprises a complete engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) project, and was booked in Q4 2018.

The Manantiales Behr basin is one of the most important oil fields in Argentina, and the new Wärtsilä plant will increase the efficiency of the area’s power supply by replacing an existing gas turbine plant. The plant will operate on five Wärtsilä 31SG engines, the most efficient gas engine in its class. With its ability to reach full output from start-up in 2 minutes, the Wärtsilä solution will balance the intermittent supply from an adjacent wind farm, thereby effectively providing a hybrid energy system.

“We needed a greater and more reliable power supply for this important oil producing region, and we are sure that Wärtsilä has the experience and the technology to deliver it. The black start capabilities of this plant mean that should there be a grid power failure, the Manantiales Behr plant will be able to deliver emergency electricity to the nearby city of Comodoro Rivadavia,” says the customer.

Alberto Fernandez, Regional Director, Latin America South, Wärtsilä Energy Business comments, “High efficiency, and a proven track record in EPC project deliveries are the reasons behind the award of this contract. During the past couple of years, we have successfully completed seven projects on-time and on budget in Argentina. This experience speaks for itself.”

In addition to its outstanding efficiency, the Wärtsilä 31SG engine can operate in challenging climatic conditions. The site conditions in the Manantiales Behr basin include wind speeds of up to 180 km/hour, and temperatures that can range from -10° C to +40° C. The plant is expected to become fully operational in October 2020.