Wartsila is to supply and build “the largest power plant running exclusively on gas engines to be installed on the African continent” under a turnkey contract for a 180 MW plant with the energy and chemical company Sasol.

Sasol New Energy Holdings, responsible for Sasol’s low carbon electricity, ordered the plant, which will be powered by 18 Wartsila 20V34SG generating sets running on natural gas, said Wartsila.

The plant will generate baseload electricity for the firm’s use, with excess production being eventually wheeled through the national grid at the company’s facilities in Sasolburg, which is at a demanding altitude of 1700 metres.

The plant will cut the customer’s carbon footprint while reducing operating costs, said Wartsila. A closed circuit cooling system also avoids the need for water in a region with scarce water resources.

The order is included in Wartsila’s order book during the second quarter 2011.

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