Ndola Energy Company (NECL) has awarded a ten year operations and maintenance (O&M) contract for new heavy fuel oil-fired plant in Zambia to Finnish firm Wärtsilä.

The NECL plant, located in Ndola near the Zambia-DR Congo border, will generate 50 MW of energy when it starts operating in July 2013. The service contract is Wärtsilä’s first in Zambia.

The plant will be equipped with six Wärtsilä 32 engines using a byproduct from the adjacent Ideni refinery as a fuel. Output from the plant will be sold to the Zambia Electricity Supply Company (Zesco).

The Ndola plant will help Zambia to diversify its electricity generating mix and improve the stability of the country’s electricity system. Wärtsilä’s contract covers the full operations, maintenance and servicing of the plant.