Roatan opts for propane power plant

17 March 2016

A Honduran electric utility has placed an order with Wärtsilä for the construction of a 28 MW power plant fuelled with propane.

Roatan Electrc Company (RECO), which supplies power on the Honduran island of Roatan, says that the new power plant will improve electric reliability and reduce the price of energy for customers. It placed a fast-track turnkey order and expects the facility to be operational by December 2016.

The new power plant will use four Wärtsilä 34SG-LPG engines running on propane gas. The engines' multi-fuel capability will enable RECO to change fuels in the future and use methane or ethane, depending on availability.

RECO operates in the Bay Islands just off the northern coast of Honduras, where the growing tourism industry has increased the demand for electricity. By providing a reliable supply of energy, the new power station will help to keep the lights on.

"The infrastructure for importing, storing and handling propane is relatively simple and inexpensive. This makes propane an attractive solution for the Caribbean islands and other locations with no access to natural gas pipelines," said Sampo Suvisaari, Regional Director at Wärtsilä Energy Solutions.

This is the second propane-fired power plant supplied by Wärtsilä within a year. The Finnish firm expanded its power generation portfolio in 2015 to include the ability to use propane as a fuel because of the increased availability in the market of propane as a result of increased shale oil and gas production.

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