ContourGlobal and the Senegalese national utility Société Nationale d’Electricité du Sénégal (SENELEC) have signed an agreement to develop a new 53MW thermal facility at brownfield site in Dakar, Senegal.

ContourGlobal will build, own and operate a new power generation facility on an existing brownfield site with an investment of €85m, under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Expected to be completed in 2015, the new facility will burn heavy fuel oil and natural gas to generate electricity, and is considered to be the lowest cost liquid fuel and natural gas-fired power plant in the nation.

Under the agreement, ContourGlobal will deploy the Wartsila 18V46 high efficiency engines at the facility in order to increase the generation capacity while reducing the cost of electricity.

"We are able to provide SENELEC with the lowest cost electricity in their engine-based generation portfolio."

ContourGlobal president and chief executive officer Joseph Brandt said: "By utilising the infrastructure at the existing site, we are able to provide SENELEC with the lowest cost electricity in their engine-based generation portfolio, replacing expensive emergency power rental equipment.

"By designing the project with Wartsila so that it can quickly be converted to natural gas, we are working to fulfill the promise made by President Macky Sall to diversify the Senegalese power infrastructure away from liquid fuels."

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The facility will be constructed on an existing power plant site acquired by ContourGlobal in May 2013.

Republic of Senegal Foreign Affairs Minister Mankeur Ndiaye said: "The Power Purchase Agreement for a 53MW power plant using heavy fuel oil (HFO) contributes to the success of the strategic vision of President Macky Sall set out in his "Plan Senegal Emergent" (PSE).

"This investment, of more than $100m, will help to reinforce the production capacity of SENELEC and will allow us to satisfy the expectation of the population."