Wärtsilä to convert Brazilian power plant to run on gas while renewing O&M agreement

Source: press release, 25 August 2020

Wärtsilä 50SG gas engines in an engine hall
Wärtsilä 50SG gas engines in an engine hall (photo: Wärtsilä)

The technology group Wärtsilä will convert a Brazilian power plant to 100% natural gas operation, while at the same time increasing its output from 85 MW to 92 MW. The conversion will reduce the plant’s operational costs and lessen its environmental impact. The contract with Companhia Energética Manauara is for the Manauara power plant in Manaus, Brazil, and was signed in July 2020. The power plant will supply energy to the national grid.

The conversion will involve converting the existing five Wärtsilä 46GD dual-fuel combustion engines to five Wärtsilä 50SG gas fuelled engines, along with the required common system upgrades. The improved plant performance will raise its overall competitiveness. In addition to the conversion, the two companies have renewed an operation and maintenance agreement for 10 years. The service agreement has power plant performance guarantees related to heat rate, electrical capacity, lube oil consumption, spare parts consumption and plant availability.

“Our commitment to environmental sustainability is reflected in this conversion project, and we are proud to be reducing our carbon footprint. Converting the engines to run on gas meets the company’s concerns about generating power with the least possible environmental impact. At the same time, we will be reducing our costs and improving our economic performance. The conversion will contribute to reducing electricity costs for all Brazilians, as it will eliminate the consumption of heavy fuel oil (OCA1) and the corresponding refund by the national Fuel Consumption Account (CCC),” says Bruno Menezes, Plant Director, Companhia Energética Manauara. “We have trusted Wärtsilä with our operations for many years, so it wasn’t difficult to extend this successful partnership for a further 10 years.”

Adriano Marcolino, Business Development Manager at Wärtsilä Energy comments, “This project crowns a long-term and cooperative relationship developed with Manauara over the past 15 years. With this gas conversion project we expect to support the customer’s business extension prospects, while also developing our services for gas engines.”

The use of natural gas fuel will reduce the plant’s environmental footprint by approximately 10%, representing some 35,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCDE) per year. This is the equivalent of the pollution from some 7,600 cars.

The conversion is scheduled to be fully completed in the beginning of 2022. Wärtsilä has earlier successfully completed a number of gas conversion projects involving more than 100 Wärtsilä gas engines and totalling more than 1.2 GW in output.