Wärtsilä, a leading supplier of flexible power plants for the decentralised power generation market, was awarded a contract to supply equipment and engineering for a new 80 MW baseload power plant for the electrical utility in Uruguay, UTE, in December 2008. The value of the order is approximately €35 million. The UTE Uruguay plant will supply electricity to the national grid.

The plant is to be located within the existing Central Batlle power plant field in the capital Montevideo. Wärtsilä delivers eight previously used Wärtsilä 12V46 engines that have been fully overhauled and reconditioned by Wärtsilä Services. This order represents Wärtsilä’s first power plant installation in Uruguay, a country where some 70% of the electricity is supplied by hydro power.

Wärtsilä was also awarded an operations and maintenance (O&M) agreement for two years with a further two years extension option. This means that Wärtsilä will fully operate and maintain the running of the plant to ensure optimal performance.

The order has been placed by the contracting group, a consortium made up of the two major construction companies in Uruguay, Teyma Uruguay SA and Saceem, which successfully bid for the project specifying Wärtsilä equipment.

The new power plant is expected to be fully operational by the end of October 2009. The engines will initially be run on heavy fuel oil (HFO), but will later be converted to Wärtsilä gas and HFO dual-fuel capability, and will run mainly on gas.

Wärtsilä’s ability to supply the equipment and engineering services within the very tight schedule stipulated was a key factor in the company winning this contract. The above mentioned fuel flexibility of the Wärtsilä engines has also been cited as being an important consideration.

“This order is the result of the very good understanding of the customer’s needs and the fact that we are able to supply fully reconditioned engines. The engines are not only rebuilt to as-new condition, but they are also ready to be converted at a later stage from HFO to gas operation. The technical and engineering support is also critical to this installation as the brown field location is particularly challenging with very limited space available,” explains Alberto Fernandez, business development manager for Uruguay and Argentina, Wärtsilä Power Plants.