Wärtsilä contracted to supply three flexible thermal balancing power plants totalling 150 MW to Brazil

Source: press release, 18 November 2021

Fast-starting and flexible Wärtsilä 20V34SG gas engine generating sets in an engine hall
Fast-starting and flexible Wärtsilä 20V34SG gas engine generating sets in an engine hall (photo: Wärtsilä)

The technology group Wärtsilä will supply three gas engine power plants with a combined output of 150 MW to Brazil. The contract award came as a result of a Reserve Capacity Auction organised by the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy in October. The plants will be delivered on a fast-track basis and are scheduled to be operational in Q2, 2022. The orders were placed by companies held by funds managed by BTG Pactual Asset Management, and they are included in Wärtsilä’s order intake in Q4, 2021.

The electricity produced by the thermal balancing power plants will be fed to the national grid assuring system reliability, for instance, during times of adverse weather conditions. The contracts include altogether 16 fast-starting and flexible Wärtsilä 20V34SG gas engine generating sets. The projects will be delivered on engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) basis to existing power plant sites UTE Luiz Oscar Rodrigues de Melo and UTE Viana 1, as well as a new power plant UTE Povoação 1, all located in Espírito Santo, a state in Southeast Region of Brazil.

Wärtsilä gas power plants operate on natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel available. They feature high efficiency at any load, providing plant efficiency levels of up to 50% in simple cycle, and up to 54% in combined cycle mode. Their unmatched flexibility is highlighted by the fact that they can reach full output power within minutes of the start signal, which is an essential benefit in systems that wish to integrate higher levels of renewable energy.

Flexible Wärtsilä gas engine power plants can utilise natural gas, LPG, synthetic fuels and various bio-gas fuels. Power plants which initially run on natural gas, can switch to operate on sustainable decarbonised fuels as and when these sources become available. This future-proofing feature alleviates the risk of investments made today becoming stranded assets later.

“Our presence in Brazil is long and solid. With these projects we are approaching the important milestone of 3 GW of installed base in the country and continue to meet the evolving needs of our customers. We offer the best-in-class technology for power optimisation. The high efficiency of the Wärtsilä engines, with their quick power ramp-ups, in a matter of minutes rather than hours or days, provide the flexibility and reliability needed in today’s energy market, which is trending increasingly towards renewable energy,” says Håkan Agnevall, President and CEO, Wärtsilä Corporation.

Wärtsilä is acknowledged for its capabilities in providing fast-track EPC projects and the demands for EPC deliveries are growing fast in South America. The demand for regulatory compliance is accelerating, as well as concern for the environment and the well-being of local communities, and Wärtsilä has decades of experience in addressing these requirements.

Wärtsilä Brazil was established in 1990 and has operations in Rio de Janeiro and Manaus with a complete offering covering the total range of Wärtsilä’s equipment portfolio. To date, Wärtsilä has delivered 2.7 GW of power plant capacity in Brazil, of which 739 MW are currently covered by Wärtsilä long-term service agreements. Wärtsilä has also converted 275 MW of oil-fuelled capacity to run on natural gas in Brazil.

The Brazilian Reserve Capacity Auction results will assure, by contracting reserve energy, the system reliability for the upcoming years.