Finnish technology group Wärtsilä has started work on a 378 MW power plant in El Salvador powered by LNG – one of the first in Central America.

Wartsila said that the plant for Energía del Pacífico will be “the largest and most efficient in El Salvador” and the EPC contract will also see Wartsila build a dedicated floating LNG import terminal alongside the plant.

The new plant will operate on 19 of Wärtsilä’s 50SG engines and a steam turbine in combined cycle mode and is intended to wean El Salvador off a dependence on oil, which powers almost half of the country’s 1600 MW generation capacity.

“This project marks an important milestone in the development of the country’s energy mix by utilising clean natural gas,” said Energía del Pacífico managing director Alejandro Alle.

Sampo Suvisaari of Wärtsilä Energy Business added: “The starting of this project is the result of many years of work. The plant will bring important benefits to El Salvador by enabling clean, efficient, and flexible power generation that will, because of its fast-starting capability, complement and facilitate increasing amounts of renewable energy in the system.”

Feature: LNG to power: a solution not a product

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