The technology group Wärtsilä continues its strong presence in Senegal with the signing of a contract to engineer, manufacture and deliver a 130-MW Flexicycle plant to be an integral part of Senegal’s energy future. The Malicounda power project in Mbour is located 85 km from the country’s capital Dakar. The order, booked in March, was placed by Matelec, contractor of the Independent Power Producer MPG (Melec Power Gen) and part of the Matelec Group, based in Lebanon.

The project is part of Senegal’s strategy to increase its energy production, while in the medium term, reducing the cost of electricity for consumers. Importantly, the Wärtsilä thermal plant solution will provide the flexibility needed to facilitate the integration of intermittent renewable energy into the country’s network. In addition, Senegal is creating its energy future blueprint and is exploring other essential technologies including energy storage. The project was initiated in September 2017 with the signing of a development agreement between Africa 50, the infrastructure development fund for Africa, and Senelec, Senegal’s state power utility.

Wärtsilä Flexicycle power plants combine the advantages of a flexible simple cycle plant with the superb efficiency of a combined cycle plant. The Flexicycle solution is based on a gas, multi-fuel, or liquid fuel power plant combined with a steam turbine. Flexicycle power plants can operate both in highly efficient combined cycle mode and in dynamic and fast simple cycle mode.

The plant will operate on seven Wärtsilä 50 engines operating initially on heavy fuel oil (HFO). However, there is an option to convert to gas fuelled operation as soon as gas becomes available. Senegal and Mauritania have signed an inter-governmental cooperation agreement to develop substantial gas resources to be shared by the two countries.

“This is a major energy project that is very important for Senegal. We needed a reliable and qualified partner to engineer and provide the flexible and reliable energy system, now and as our energy infrastructure evolves. With its global and Pan-African experience, Wärtsilä fully meets the project requirements,” commented Sami Soughayar, CEO, Matelec Group.

“Wärtsilä has a well-established footprint in Senegal and throughout West Africa, and our global references provide ample proof of our capabilities in delivering efficient, reliable and flexible solutions. We are proud to have been selected as the equipment provider for this important project,” said Arnaud Gouet, Regional Director, Africa West, Wärtsilä Energy Solutions.

The plant is expected to become operational in 2020. Wärtsilä already has 450 MW of installed capacity in Senegal and is the country’s leading provider of power generation equipment.