Wärtsilä to convert Brazilian power plant to gas

25 August 2020

Technology group Wärtsilä has contracted to convert a Brazilian power plant to 100 % natural gas operation, while at the same time increasing its output from 85 MW to 92 MW. The conversion is intended to reduce the plant’s operational costs, and lessen its environmental impact. The contract with Companhia Energética Manauara is for the Manauara power plant in Manaus, Brazil, and was signed in July this year. The plant will supply energy to the national grid.

The conversion will involve converting the existing five Wärtsilä 46GD dual-fuel combustion engines to five Wärtsilä 50SG gas fuelled engines, along with the required common system upgrades. The improved plant performance will raise its overall competitiveness. In addition to the conversion, the two companies have renewed an operation and maintenance agreement for ten years. The service agreement has power plant performance guarantees related to heat rate, electrical capacity, lube oil consumption, spare parts consumption and plant availability.

“The conversion will contribute to reducing electricity costs for all Brazilians, as it will eliminate the consumption of heavy fuel oil and the corresponding refund by the national Fuel Consumption Account (CCC),” says Bruno Menezes, plant director, Companhia Energética Manauara. 

The use of natural gas fuel will reduce the plant’s environmental footprint by approximately 10 %, representing some 35 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. 

The conversion is scheduled to be fully completed by the start of 2022. Wärtsilä has in the past completed a number of gas conversion projects involving more than 100 Wärtsilä gas engines and totalling more than 1.2 GW in output.

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