Wärtsilä wins 117 MW Kenya plant contract

Wärtsilä has been awarded a turnkey contract to supply a complete power station for the Kipevu III thermal power project in Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city.

The plant will generate 117 MW and will supply electricity to the national grid. The contract was signed in November and the plant is scheduled to be operational in January 2011. The order has been placed by the Kenya Electricity Generating Company Ltd (Kengen), a partly state-owned utility.

Wärtsilä will supply seven of its Wärtsilä 18V46 engines, initially to be run on heavy fuel oil, to provide the generating capacity for flexible baseload supply. The delivery also includes a gas insulated switchgear substation for connection to the existing grid. The power plant will also provide the utility with reliable grid stability.

In announcing the award of this contract, Tony van Velzen, Regional Director for Africa, Wärtsilä Power Plants, commented: “Our customer requested a fast track project with reliable equipment at a competitive price, and Wärtsilä was able to meet these demands.

“Additionally, the engines can be converted to gas when gas supply is locally available. Our local presence and ability to provide service support was also a critical factor in our being selected.”

When completed the Kipevu III project will bring a total generating capacity delivered by Wärtsilä to Kenya in excess of 350 MW.

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GE to supply 46 Jenbacher gas engines to Brazilian city

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Seeking to fulfill local utility plans in Brazil, independent power producer Breitener Energética S.A. has launched an ambitious project to replace power plants running on heavy fuel-oil with cleaner-burning natural gas engines supplied by GE, while creating a more reliable energy source for the country’s northern regions.

Brazil has established a goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by between 36.1 and 38.9 per cent from projected amounts in 2020.

Breitener is converting its UTE Mattos and UTE Fran heavy fuel-oil plants to use natural gas, which produces fewer emissions compared to heavy fuel-oil. The power company will then install 46 of GE’s low-emission Jenbacher gas engine generator sets – 23 units at each plant site – to generate a combined 120 MW for the Amazon city of Manaus, northern Brazil’s second-largest city.

The natural gas will be delivered by a new pipeline connecting the oil and gas fields of Urucu in northern Brazil with the city of Manaus, enhancing Brazil’s domestic energy security. Wagner Silva, CEO of Breitener Energética, said: “Our project with GE underscores our support of Brazil’s goals to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions by replacing older power stations with generation technology equipped with modern exhaust controls.”

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WELtec enters China market with biogas plant

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A Chinese investor has engaged WELtec BioPower GmbH from Vechta for the

setup of a biogas plant with construction work expected to begin in the first quarter of 2010.

The plant with an output of 370 kW will be China’s first biogas plant that meets German quality standards. The fact that all parts are manufactured directly by the company is one of the reasons why WELtec received the order, the German firm said.

The plant’s two 60 000 cubic feet fermenters will be fed with 15 000 tons of pig manure and 1500 tonnes of rice straw a year. The resources will come from farms in the vicinity. The concept of the WELtec plant to be established in Wuxi, a city of 4.5m located 45 minutes driving distance to the west of Shanghai, is based on the processing of gas to biomethane for own use.

In China, it is not yet common practice to feed in generated energy into the electricity grid. Therefore, the common approach is either to generate biomethane and use it directly or to use the generated energy directly for own needs. Due to its ongoing economic development, Wuxi is dubbed ‘Little Shanghai’. The city is an attractive location for investors, particularly in the field of renewable energies, and is already home to several solar companies. The academic landscape, too, is future-oriented. The Fermentation and Food Processing departments of the Southern Yangtze University are renowned worldwide.

China’s activities in the field of renewable energies are ambitious; though the country has huge coal reserves (estimated at 120bn tonnes), it hardly has any gas and oil reserves.

Although coal is being used intensively, the population often experiences outages due to the low efficiency of the coal-fired power plants. This is another reason for the trend towards decentralised combined heat and power supply. Biogas is becoming increasingly popular especially in rural areas, where about 900m Chinese live.

According to the biogas development concept, the number of households to use this resource by 2010 is approximately 40m. The biogas potential is estimated at 5trn cubic feet a year.”

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