The fuel flexibility of Wärtsilä’s power plants offers an optimal solution to independent power producers seeking to overcome the challenges of power supply problems.

Wärtsilä, a leading supplier of flexible power plants for the decentralised power generation market, has been contracted to supply a 100MW power plant to be installed in Ewekoro, approximately 70km from Lagos, Nigeria. The order, which was signed in December 2008, has been placed by Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria, a leading manufacturer and marketer of cement in Nigeria. The company is a subsidiary of Lafarge of France.

The new power plant will comprise six Wärtsilä 18V50DF engines that can operate on either heavy fuel oil (HFO), light fuel oil (LFO) or gas. The turnkey project will supply electricity to Lafarge WAPCO’s existing cement works, as well as to its new cement plant currently under construction. This new order, together with the plants already delivered by Wärtsilä to Nigeria, will produce a combined generating capacity of approximately 400MWe.

Wärtsilä is also currently negotiating a subsequent operations and maintenance (O&M) agreement, whereby it will take responsibility for the running of the power plant, thus allowing the customer to focus on its core cement producing business. When installed, the new plant will ensure a reliable electricity supply to the cement factories thus making them independent of the fluctuating supply from the grid.

In commenting on this latest order from Africa, Joost Bos, business development manager, Wärtsilä Power Plants in Nigeria said: “The multi-fuel capability of the Wärtsilä 50DF engines is proving to be of increasing importance, especially in West Africa. Industrial customers ask for solutions that overcome challenges of power supply problems and possible disruptions in the gas supply. Understandably, industries want to minimize the negative impact on their processes. There is, therefore, a clear need for a low cost power supply that is able to meet the demand of heavy industrial processes.”

The project director for Lafarge WAPCO’s new cement plant, Guy Chaperon, says the company’s decision to sign-on Wärtsilä was underscored by its current cement expansion project: “As a major cement manufacturer, Lafarge cement WAPCO is in a major phase of its history where it will double capacity from two million tonnes to 4.2 million tonnes by 2010. The expansion project will further assist us to meet the local demand of cement in Nigeria.”

For the cement and other heavy industries, Wärtsilä is able to offer units that in case of gas supply disruption, switch automatically to liquid fuel. These units can switch on-line to heavy fuel oil as well. The efficiency level remains high throughout the lifecycle of the plant, regardless of site conditions.

The Wärtsilä generating sets can be offered in a size that allows the optimal load-following required by the process. These features ensure that reliable power can be continuously generated at the lowest possible cost under all conditions.

Wärtsilä has a well proven track record in turnkey contracting capabilities and long term service agreements. This provides its customers with the opportunity to select solutions that allow them to focus on their core processes.