Wärtsilä to provide O&M services for 130MW power plant in Senegal


Wärtsilä recently signed a 10-year service agreement with Mailicounda Power SAS of Senegal in order to strengthen the power plant and secure supply to Senegal’s grid. The $167 million Malicounda Power project is being developed by a consortium of partners, including Africa50, Senegalese utility Senelec and local developer Melec PowerGen. To learn more read, “Wärtsilä to provide O&M services for 130MW power plant in Senegal.

Key Takeaways:

  • Malicounda will deploy the Flexicycle power plant which will operate with seven Wärtsilä 50 engines. The plant will be able to operate in simple cycle or combined cycle modes.
    • Wärtsilä will also provide scheduled maintenance and spare parts, as well as heat rate and power output guarantees after major overhauls.
  • Wärtsilä will provide Malicounda Power SAS with remote support from its Expertise Centre, supported by a digital predictive maintenance tool using artificial intelligence and advanced diagnostics to monitor equipment and systems in real-time.
  • The plant is expected to increase generating capacity in Senegal by about 17%, while reducing generation costs by about 14%.

Path to 100% Perspective:

Wärtsila’s project serves to bolster ambitious decarbonization goals with its new technologies and equipment that make power plants more efficient, flexible, and environmentally-friendly. Wärtsilä uses AI and equipment expertise to enhance the safety, reliability, and efficiency of power equipment and systems. AI and machine learning will play increasingly important roles in future power generation, especially as more communities and organizations come to rely on smart grids and renewable fuels for their electricity needs.

Wärtsilä has set a goal of 2030 to be carbon neutral in its own operations and to provide a product portfolio which will be ready for zero carbon fuels. These are the examples that will encourage other businesses and industries to embark on their own decarbonization journeys.


Keeping the lights on in extreme conditions: Three power plants put to the test


In addition to the basic function of providing grid capacity and energy to their customers, some utilities have additional motivation behind their desire to build a new power plant, particularly as extreme weather, natural disasters, and geopolitical conflicts continue to threaten our power systems. For more, read Keeping the lights on in extreme conditions: Three power plants put to the test.

Key Takeaways

  • In Palmer, Alaska, Mantanuska Electric Association (MEA) built a 170 MW self-generation power plant with ten Wartsila 18V50DF engines. The plant is dual-fuel capable, with the primary fuel being natural gas, and is designed and built to withstand high seismic forces.
  • This foresight proved well-founded when the area experienced a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in November 2018. The facility experienced only minor damage and MEA restored power to most of their territory in less than 24 hours.
  • On Oahu, Hawaiian Electric (HECO) built the highly efficient, flexible 50 MW Schofield Generating Station to provide energy security and resiliency for the Schofield Barracks Army Base. The plant has six Wartsila 20V34DF engines that run on biofuel.
  • In May 2021, HECO performed a demonstration full-system test in which the microgrid serving the Base as an islanded load was successfully established and operated for 36 hours without any interruptions.
  • In New Orleans, Louisiana, Entergy replaced a 1960’s era steam generation plant with the New Orleans Power Station (NOPS), a highly efficient plant that includes seven Wartsila 18V50SG sets producing 128 MW. The plant was designed to withstand high winds and extreme rainfall present during hurricanes.
  • When Hurricane Ida struck South Louisiana in August 2021, Entergy reported that within 48 hours, NOPS was restarted and connected to the local grid.

Path to 100% Perspective

Extreme weather, natural disasters, and the variability of renewable power sources like wind and solar demand greater resiliency in our power systems. Flexible engine power plants offer not just resiliency but also the flexibility and high efficiency that are needed to balance the intermittency of renewable energy and variable weather conditions, proving it’s possible to keep the lights on while meeting decarbonization goals. Dispatchability, dual- and multi-fuel capabilities, low minimum operating levels, zero minimum down times and run times, and fast ramp speeds are all characteristics that utilities and power providers should keep in mind when designing and building resilient energy systems of the future.