Finnish energy company Wärtsilä has secured a contract to upgrade the 216MW Kribi natural gas power plant in Cameroon.

The Kribi plant is equipped with 13 Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines and has been in operation for nearly a decade.

Under the contract, Wärtsilä will upgrade the facility’s electrical and automation systems to ensure optimal reliability.

The company secured the contract from Kribi Power Development Company (KPDC), a subsidiary of Globeleq.

Globeleq is an independent power producer that owns and operates power-generating facilities across Africa.

Globeleq chief operating officer Gionata Visconti said: “The Kribi power plant has a vital role within the African energy sector. It is still today supplying two-thirds of the thermal energy in Cameroon.

“The Kribi plant, therefore, plays a key role in ensuring a supply of safe, cheap, and reliable energy.

“For this reason, we are keen to upgrade the power plant’s automation systems to the latest design to ensure optimal reliability, and to strengthen our cooperation with Wärtsilä, leveraging their competencies on a continuous basis within the framework of the long-term service agreement.”

Wärtsilä is due to begin upgrade work on the Kribi power plant next year.

The company has also agreed to provide operational and maintenance services for the facility for a period of ten years.

Wärtsilä Energy Services vice-president Markus Ljungkvist said: “Wärtsilä has a strong regional presence, which enables us to provide valuable technical support that optimises engine performance and maximises the production capabilities of this power plant, which has such a significant role in Cameroon’s power supply.

“We are also in a position to ensure the availability of critical spare parts, and this is an essential element within the long-term service agreement between our companies.”

Last month, Wärtsilä was awarded a contract to provide a 500MWac/2GWh energy storage portfolio for Clearway Energy’s solar-plus-storage projects.