A $552m tri-fuel power plant is to be built in Jordan by a Finnish-Korean consortium.

The 573 MW plant will utilize natural gas, heavy fuel oil and light fuel oil and once completed is expected to be the biggest of its kind in the world.

It will be built by Finland’s Wartsila in conjunction with South Korean based Lotte Engineering & Construction.

Initially the plant will operate on heavy fuel oil but it will be able to transfer to natural gas once the gas supply infrastructure is in place. Once operational, the plant’s use of water will be close to zero.

The order for the plant was placed by Amman Asia Electric Power, a special purpose independent power producer, in which Wartsila has a minority interest. The other owners of the company are Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and Japan’s Mitsubishi.

Amman Asia Electric Power will supply electricity to the National Electric Power Company of Jordan under a recently signed 25 year power purchase agreement.

The plant will be powered by a total of 38 Wartsila 50DF multi-fuel engines. The plant will be fitted with a nitrogen oxide control system for emissions abatement.

Vesa Riihimaki, group vice-president of Wartsila Power Plants, hailed the deal as a “landmark order”.

He said the tri-fuel capability “provides unmatched flexibility and ensures that Jordan will have a safe, affordable and reliable energy supply. When the gas infrastructure is in place, the plant will switch to natural gas and its environmental footprint will be minimised.”

The plant will be built in three phases in Al Manakher, 30 km outside Amman. The first phase is scheduled to be in commercial operation in February 2014, with the entire plant being up and running seven months later.

This will be the second power plant that Wartsila has delivered to Jordan. A 50 MW plant is already in use and is being operated and maintained by Wartsila personnel under an operations & maintenance agreement.