Wärtsilä, a leading global supplier of flexible and efficient power plant solutions and services, has signed a three year operations and maintenance (O&M) agreement covering the United Cement Company of Nigeria Ltd (UniCem) power plant. This is an extension to the current three year O&M contract expiring in 2012.

The power plant provides electricity to United Cement Company’s Mfamosing cement manufacturing plant, located north-east of Calabar in Nigeria’s Cross River State. It has an annual cement production of 2.5 million tonnes. The 47MW UniCem power plant is capable of operating on either natural gas or heavy fuel oil and is powered by three Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines.

Under the terms of the new contract, Wärtsilä will continue providing the UniCem plant with expert operational and maintenance support, as well as all the required related technology and engineering expertise. In addition, Wärtsilä will ensure the timely and accurate delivery of parts to support maintenance activities, thereby further contributing to the availability of the power plant. Through close co-operation with the customer, Wärtsilä has customised a complete service programme that will offer UniCem the level of support that best suits its needs.

"This service agreement extension is important for Wärtsilä as it indicates the good co-operation between the two parties, and UniCem’s overall satisfaction with Wärtsilä’s performance," says AP Singh, general manager, Wärtsilä Solutions Support Services, South Europe & Africa. "In taking responsibility for operating and maintaining the power plant, Wärtsilä utilises its extensive know-how, and implements its global best practices and expertise to maintain the high level of reliability and performance that the customer has come to expect."

An operations and maintenance agreement is a comprehensive form of asset management. Typically, O&M agreements can be tailored to cover the entire scope of operational, management, and maintenance services, as well as providing the installation with performance guarantees.

Wärtsilä is an experienced operator, with a proven track record in operation and maintenance services. Globally, more than 17GW of generating capacity in both marine and land-based installations, a total of 543 installations, is covered by Wärtsilä’s asset management and other service agreements. Of these contracted installations, 28 are in Africa.