Four new gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plants have come online at two South African data centres.

The plants, supplied by MTU Onsite Energy, provide on-site power, heating and cooling for telecoms firm Mobile Telephone Networks Ltd (MTN) at two facilities near Johannesburg.

One plant, at a data centre in the suburb of Doornfontein, features a 12V 4000 genset with a capacity of 1169 kWe. The other three plants are located at a second data centre in suburban Newlands and feature 16V 4000 gensets, each with a capacity of 1712 kWe.

MTU said these are the first gensets of the 4000 series (pictured) to come online in South Africa and they have so far been operated in limited-service mode, with final completion scheduled for late this year.

The compression performance of the turbochargers on the engines is adapted to match the location of the data centres at an altitude of 1700 metres, MTU added. It said it also plans to adapt a genset to run on low-methane gas from coal mines.

The plants will be maintained and serviced by MTU South Africa (Pty) Ltd.