Wärtsilä Corporation signed a turnkey contract at the end of September 2005 with Companhia Energética Manauara to build an 83 MWe power plant in the city of Manaus, in northern Brazil. The contract’s value for Wärtsilä is in the range of EUR 45 million. The plant will comprise five Wärtsilä 18V46 generating sets.
Companhia Energética Manauara was established to own and develop this independent power plant (IPP). The major shareholder is TEP - Termoelétrica Potiguar S.A., partnership of Global Participações Ltda. with Petrobras Distribuidora S.A, the fuel distribution arm of Petrobras. The plant will have a contracted power requirement of 60 MWe and an installed capacity of 83 MWe. It will supply power on a baseload basis to the Manaus grid which is an isolated system in the Amazon region. The Power Purchase Agreement for the plant has a term of 20 years.
The complete plant, including the electrical substation, is being supplied by Wärtsilä under a turnkey contract. The plant is scheduled to start commercial operation on 1 August 2006.
An important requirement for the plant is that it is required to supply the contracted power with 100% availability. The engines will initially run on heavy fuel oil, which is the cheapest fuel currently available, and the dual-fuel operation on natural gas will be implemented as soon as the gas pipeline from Urucu is in operation. Engines with multi-fuel capabilities are ideal for plants located in remote cities such as Manaus.
Contributory factors in Wärtsilä winning this contract were the competitive life-cycle costs of the proposed plant, the ability to run on gas and oil, and the company being a single supplier for the initial plant supply, operation and maintenance support. Furthermore, as Wärtsilä already has a number of large power plants in the area, the company can readily deliver strong local support.
This will be the fifteenth power plant in Brazil to be designed, projected and installed by Wärtsilä. Their combined generating capacity is more than 600 MWe. The company is responsible for the operation and maintenance of four of these units with a total output of 200 MWe. Eleven of these 15 power plants operate with heavy fuel oil and four with natural gas.