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Major Gas Conversion Project in Indonesia

Posted on December 1, 2005

Wärtsilä has received a contract to convert seven Wärtsilä 18V32 engines into dual-fuel operation at the Batamindo Industrial Park on the Indonesian island of Batam, where the conversion of another five Wärtsilä 18V32 engines is already underway. All the engines at the power plant will, after the conversions, operate mainly on natural gas.

PT Batamindo Investment Cakrawala acquired its first four Wärtsilä 18V32 generating sets in 1993 to deliver electrical power to the Batamindo Industrial Park. Since then, the industrial park has grown rapidly and power demand increased as a result. To date, the power plant has 16 Wärtsilä 18V32 engines. The Industrial Park covers an area of 320 hectares and employs more than 60 000 Indonesians.

In 2004, natural gas became available on the island of Batam as the Sumatra-Singapore gas pipeline came into operation. PT Batamindo Investment Cakrawala considered how it might take advantage of this opportunity to save fuel costs by either converting the existing engines to run on natural gas instead of heavy fuel oil, installing a new gas turbine plant, or combining extension and conversion of the existing power plant. The third alternative of extension and conversion was chosen to give the plant flexibility in the fuel that can be used and because of its economical investment cost. As diesel and dual-fuel generating sets have better efficiencies than gas turbines in part-load operation, this option also provides the best efficiency for the plant as electrical demand from the industrial park varies.

The latest extension of the plant was contracted in March 2005. Comprising three Wärtsilä 18V32DF dual-fuel engines, it will increase the plant capacity to about 120 MWe. These engines are currently being installed and are due for commissioning by early 2006.

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