Wärtsilä, a leading global supplier of flexible power plants and services to the decentralised power generation market, received an order in December to supply engines and other equipment for a major power plant project in Hera in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, formerly known as East Timor. Delivery of the project will commence immediately. In addition to this order, Wärtsilä has signed a contract for another power plant project in Betano, also in Timor-Leste, for which the notice to proceed is expected in the first half of 2011.

The power plant order for Hera in the northern part of the country has been placed by Puri Akraya Engineering, a company contracted by the Timor-Leste government for the project.

Wärtsilä’s scope of supply includes seven Wärtsilä 18V46 generating sets with a gross output of some 120MWe, as well as generators, auxiliaries, control systems and various related equipment. The Betano site project, to be delivered to the same contractor, includes eight Wärtsilä 18V46 generating sets having a gross output of more than 135MWe, as well as other related equipment.

The Hera Power Plant is expected to be fully operational in the first quarter of 2012, of which 50MW shall be operational by the end of 2011. The Betano Power Plant is expected to be fully operational by the third quarter of 2012. While initially the power plants will run on heavy fuel oil (HFO), it is expected that they will be later converted to natural gas operation.

“The high overall efficiency and fuel flexibility of the Wärtsilä engines was an important factor in the company being awarded these contracts,” comments Dany Subrata, director of Puri Akraya Engineering.

“Wärtsilä has long and extensive experience, and an outstanding track record in providing effective power generating solutions in a variety of climates and under the most challenging circumstances. This will enable us to successfully deliver and commission the power plants, even though the sites are at remote locations and the country’s infrastructure is rather challenging,” says Suraj Narayan, business development manager (Asia) at Wärtsilä Power Plants.

These power plant projects are an important part of the Timor-Leste government’s modernisation programme. The aim is to improve the country’s infrastructure and to achieve national electrification. This includes the construction of power stations and the development of a national grid. Timor-Leste, with a population of one million, is rich in natural resources and the development of oil and gas production in its offshore waters has enabled the modernisation programme to be initiated.