The technology group Wärtsilä has signed a long-term Operation & maintenance (O&M) agreement with Energía del Pacífico for a 378 MW power plant in El Salvador. The 15-year agreement was signed in Q4 2019 and will take effect when the plant commences operations at the end of 2021. Wärtsilä will start to recognise order intake once the plant has been commissioned/is in operation.
The power plant comprises 19 Wärtsilä 50SG engines running on natural gas fuel, and a steam turbine in a highly efficient Flexicycle combined cycle arrangement. The Dry Flexicycle technology with a closed-loop cooling system has zero water consumption, which is a major environmental benefit. This plant will be the largest and most efficient power plant in El Salvador. It will provide approximately one third of the country’s electricity supply with clean electricity and will help reduce the country’s dependence on oil and heavy fuel oil for power generation.
“Wärtsilä has valuable experience in successfully operating and maintaining Flexicycle plants, which is why we are pleased to have a lifecycle solution from Wärtsilä,” says Joel Schroeder, Vice President, Thermal Engineering. “This is a transformational energy investment for El Salvador. The project will deliver significant environmental benefits, and with Wärtsilä’s efficient and reliable gas engine technology, it will provide clean and reliable power to the country.”
“Long-term O&M agreements are a key element in our lifecycle support strategy. They provide guaranteed performance, and cost and operational predictability. By supplying the equipment, and then operating and maintaining it, we can offer a total support solution that ensures optimal performance,” commented Jean-Christophe Reymond, General Manager, Agreement Sales at Wärtsilä Energy Business.
The flexibility of the Wärtsilä engines, with their fast-starting and load following capabilities, means that the system can accommodate increased levels of energy from renewable sources, such as solar and wind. This will further add to the sustainability of the plant, which will be one of the first in Central America to utilise LNG as fuel.
Wärtsilä will locally hire, employ, and train some 40 people, to operate and maintain the power plant.
With the addition of this plant, Wärtsilä’s installed capacity in Central America and the Caribbean is approximately 5 GW and globally 72 GW.