Wärtsilä has signed an operation and maintenance (O&M) agreement with Energética Suape II SA in Brazil. The three-year deal, which has the option of renewal, is a fast-track, cost-effective solution for providing O&M services with a fixed price structure. This enables the customer to accurately predict the plant’s lifecycle costs.

The agreement is for the 380MW Suape II power plant, which is equipped with seventeen 20-cylinder Wärtsilä 46F engines in V-configuration, and is the biggest plant ever built by Wärtsilä. The facility was inaugurated at the end of December 2011. As an intermediate load plant, it will feed electricity to the national grid when fluctuations in the supply of hydropower create a need for compensatory capacity. Hydropower accounts for some 90% of Brazil’s electricity production, but is subject to fluctuations due to seasonal rainfall levels.

A Wärtsilä team will be permanently onsite to operate and maintain the power plant, thus optimising the availability of the facility. All major maintenance will be performed by Wärtsilä’s field service teams, with the operators onsite being well trained in Brazilian regulatory procedures in case of an order to dispatch. The scheduling of maintenance planning can be adapted according to these orders.

"The fact that Wärtsilä has supplied and delivered the power solution, together with their extensive expertise in O&M agreements and their support structure in Brazil, made Wärtsilä a natural choice for us," said Wilson Brasil, president of Energética Suape II SA.

Mr Robson Campos, managing director of Wärtsilä in Brazil added: "We have enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Energética Suape, and are naturally delighted to be selected as the O&M provider for this plant. This contract is fully aligned with our growth strategy for Brazil, and represents clear recognition of our service capabilities in the country."

Wärtsilä has more than two decades of experience in designing and providing tailored service, maintenance and O&M agreement solutions, both for land based power generation and marine installations. Wärtsilä Services manages some 16GW of generating capacity in 55 countries. In the Americas, Wärtsilä operates approximately 2.4GW of power generation capacity.