Wärtsilä secures CHP upgrade and maintenance contract in Argentina

Wärtsilä - Boortmalt power plant
Boortmalt power plant. Image credit: Wärtsilä

Technology firm Wärtsilä has signed a contract to upgrade and maintain a combined heat and power plant in Argentina.

Boortmalt, a malting company, has tasked Wärtsilä with converting its Punta Alvear dual-fuel plant to a gas-fueled system.

This will help the malting firm to lower its production and operating costs and aligns with the company’s sustainable development strategy, which aims to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.

The upgrade is expected to increase the plant’s efficiency and power output, and the process reduces Bootmalt’s malt production expenses. The project is also expected to help reduce the plant’s carbon footprint.

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The plant currently operates with a Wärtsilä 32DF dual-fuel engine, which will be converted to a Wärtsilä 34SG gas engine, with a 10% power output increase.

Wärtsilä will support its operations with a ten-year maintenance agreement.

Wärtsilä will maintain the plant for a period of ten years. The project is scheduled to commence in March 2022 and is expected to be completed two months later in May.

Pablo Grassini, Plant Manager, Boortmalt, said: “After close collaboration with Wärtsilä and a successful 3-year maintenance agreement from 2018, we have collected valuable operational data for the plant.

“Based on this data, we have together evaluated the best way forward to improve performance. We feel sure that the gas conversion, supported by the maintenance agreement, represents a strong business case for us. We expect a three years payback time on the investment, followed by profit over the whole lifecycle.”

Jorge Alcaide, Wärtsilä Energy Business Director, Americas, Region South, added: “By carrying out this gas conversion project, we are in effect future-proofing the plant’s operational performance, since it will facilitate the future integration of energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. In the meantime, it will reduce the need for power from the grid, thereby lowering costs.”

Gas conversions will also enable the transition to future synthetic fuels, such as hydrogen.

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