Photo: Courtesy of Wärtsilä

Wärtsilä scores Senegal power plant LNG conversion

The Finnish technology group Wärtsilä has been contracted to convert the close to 90 MW Bel-Air power plant in Dakar, Senegal to operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Wärtsilä scores Senegal power plant LNG conversion
Courtesy of Wärtsilä

The plant, which is owned by Senelec, Senegal’s public utility company, currently operates on heavy fuel oil.

The conversion will future-proof the facility as Senegal’s long-term strategy is to lower the carbon footprint of energy production by switching to gas when a domestic supply is available.

The project is part of an interim LNG-to-power bridge solution and is the first-ever power plant gas conversion in Senegal, Wärtsilä said in its statement.

“Our two main aims were to improve the plant’s environmental profile and to lower the operating costs. By taking advantage of Wärtsilä’s deep experience and strong capabilities in power plant gas conversions, we can achieve both of these goals. At the same time, we are preparing the plant for the country’s future gas supply infrastructure,” said Papa Mademba Biteye, managing director of Senelec.

The Bel-Air plant’s existing six Wärtsilä 46 engines will be converted to six Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines. Wärtsilä’s current operation & maintenance agreement covering the existing engines is being renegotiated in view of the conversion.

Wärtsilä’s dual-fuel engine technology allows the use of multiple fuels, providing the option to operate on gas with liquid fuels as back-up.

Besides the engine conversion, the project will cover all aspects to ensure successful operations on gas. Everything from safety to operational reliability are taken into account, with control functions, mechanical auxiliary systems, as well as electrical and automation systems being changed or upgraded as required.

As part of the engineering, procurement, and construction contract, Wärtsilä will manage all phases of the project, which is expected to be completed before the end of 2021.