Wartsila has been contracted to supply a major Flexicycle power plant to Energia del Pacifico S.A. in Acajutla, El Salvador. It will be the largest and most efficient power plant in El Salvador, and the first in Central America to be fired by LNG-based natural gas. The 378 MW installation will feed electricity to the national grid.
The order is estimated to be included in Wartsila’s order book in 2016, and the plant completion is scheduled for 2018. The value of the order is approximately EUR 240 million.
“One of the reasons why we selected Wartsila technology was the high reliability offered by W?rtsil?’s multi-unit Flexicycle solution,” said Alejandro Alle, Managing Director of Energia del Pacifico.
“This landmark project will produce the cleanest thermal energy in El Salvador, and it will lower the price of electricity in the country,” said Raul Carral, Business Development Manager at Wartsila Energy Solutions.
As of today, about 50 percent of the 1600 MW generation capacity in El Salvador is based on oil. The new power station will decrease the price of electricity because the fuel, LNG-based natural gas, is cheaper than oil. Natural gas also produces 30 percent less carbon emissions and 99 percent less sulphur dioxide emissions than oil. The power plant will be the first in Central America to run on LNG-based natural gas. A dedicated LNG import terminal will be built at the same location.
“This project proves that LNG can be imported into a relatively small country, and to a mid-sized power plant in a well-designed LNG-to-power project,” said Sampo Suvisaari, Regional Director of Wartsila Energy Solutions.
The power plant will comprise nineteen Wartsila 50SG engines and a combined cycle steam turbine, producing high fuel efficiency of close to 50 percent. The Dry Flexicycle technology with a closed loop cooling system requires zero water consumption, which is a major benefit in El Salvador which has recently suffered from the worst droughts in 40 years.
Wartsila’s installed capacity in Central America and the Caribbean is approximately 4800 MW, and globally 58 GW.