Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply the engines for a large power plant to be constructed at an unnamed location in Latin America. Initially, the plant will provide baseload power to the grid, but the rapid start-up capacity of the engines will enable it to take on a grid balancing role as the system’s share of renewable energy increases. The order is valued at more than €100 million, and was placed by a ‘major EPC contractor’.
The plant will operate with 18 Wärtsilä 50SG gas engines, which in simple cycle deliver an output of 339 MW. In combined cycle mode, the heat from the stacks will be recovered to provide more than 350 MW. The combined cycle is planned by the customer to be developed on a configuration of three steam turbines, which should increase the plant’s flexibility, allowing it to operate at maximum efficiency even at part loads. Wärtsilä’s gas engines are designed to act as a bridging technology; by providing baseload power now, before optimally switching to provide balancing power to support the build-out of renewable energy technologies.
Equipment for the new plant is being delivered on a fast-track basis, and is scheduled to be on site early in 2023. It is expected to commence commercial operations in August 2024.
Image: Wärtsilä's 50SG engine (courtesy of Wärtsilä)