Wärtsilä completes three EPC projects to Brazil in record time – enables customer to meet vital power supply commitment

Source: press release, 19 October 2022

UTE Povoaҫӑo 1 power plant in Linhares
UTE Povoaҫӑo 1 power plant in Linhares (photo: Wärtsilä)

The technology group Wärtsilä’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) capabilities have been clearly demonstrated with three recent project deliveries to Brazil, which were successfully completed in record time. The orders were placed in Q4, 2021 by TEVISA, Linhares Geração, and Povoação Energia, companies held by funds managed by BTG Pactual Asset Management.

The urgency for completion was the result of the need to meet the required Commercial Operation Date of the power plants as set by the rules of the Reserve Capacity Auction, which was arranged by Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy in October 2021. From contract signing to commencement of commercial operation, the time normally required for each project would be approximately 14 months. In this case, however, Wärtsilä completed all three projects in under 8 months. Construction of the buildings until commissioning took just 3 months, and although the equipment was delivered in Q2/2022, all three plants were already in commercial operation by July 2022.

Thanks to Wärtsilä’s ability to meet the strict deadline requirements, the customer has been able to meet fully the Power Purchase Agreement requirements by the Brazilian energy authorities. The electricity produced by these power plants will be fed to the national grid, thereby assuring system reliability.

“We are extremely pleased with Wärtsilä’s efficiency and reliability in having everything completed on time, despite the exceptionally tight schedule. They overcame all the many challenges involved and, in partnership with our team, performed a first-class job. Their reputation in Brazil for being a reliable partner with outstanding EPC capabilities, is well earned,” says Marcelo Oliveira, CEO at TEVISA, Linhares Geração and Povoação Energia.

“Completing these projects within the necessary timeframe required all our experience and know-how. Our existing strong presence in Brazil and understanding of the local needs and practices was of essence in making the fast-track deliveries a success. We utilised increased manpower and extra construction equipment on the sites and worked in two shifts 7 days a week. I think we have sent another clear message to the energy sector regarding Wärtsilä’s capabilities,” comments Jorge Alcaide, Director, Americas South, Wärtsilä Energy.

Among the many difficulties encountered were shipping congestion difficulties resulting from logistic hold-ups and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine which affected material availability. Wärtsilä was able to meet these challenges, for example, by specifically chartering a vessel to deliver equipment and materials and using a significant number of air freight deliveries to ensure everything was on site when needed.

The three power plants are part of three separate projects, all in the state of Espirito. The UTE Luiz Oscar Rodrigues de Melo plant and the UTE Povoaҫӑo 1 plant are both located in the city Linhares, and the UTE Viana 1 plant in the city of Viana. All three projects feature Wärtsilä 34SG gas engines, in total 16 engines with a combined output of approximately 150 MW, sufficient to provide electricity to some 280,000 households in the region.

To date, Wärtsilä’s track record of EPC deliveries comprises 551 power plants in 109 countries. Their total output is close to 21,720 MW. For each project, specific needs must be met, as well as compliance with regulations, concern for the environment, and the well-being of the local communities affected. Wärtsilä has developed a flexible approach to the varying demands, providing the customer with a single point of contact to ensure efficient project management, while making full use of the latest digital technologies and information systems.

Wärtsilä has been present in Brazil since 1990 and has operations in Rio de Janeiro and Manaus. To date, Wärtsilä has delivered 2.9 GW of power plant capacity in Brazil, of which over 700 MW are currently covered by Wärtsilä long-term service agreements. Wärtsilä has also converted 275 MW of oil-fuelled capacity in the country to run on natural gas.