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Wärtsilä 50 MW Power Plant for Salvador Utility

Posted on February 23, 2006

Comisión Hidroeléctrica del Rió Lempa (CEL) has awarded a turnkey contract to Wärtsilä to supply a 50 MW base-load diesel power plant in Colon, El Salvador, Central America. The contract is valued at approximately USD 50 million. The power plant, located in the District of Colón, will be equipped with three 18-cylinder Wärtsilä 46 engines, operating on heavy fuel oil. The scope of Wärtsilä's contract covers power plant engineering, supply, construction and commissioning. The plant is scheduled to enter commercial operation in December 2006.

During 2005, owing to the country's increasing electricity demand and the need to replace an inefficient generating plant, CEL issued an international tender for a new power plant to be delivered on a fast track basis within a maximum of 11.5 months. The tender concluded in October 2005 with three bidders submitting proposals.

In January 2006, CEL awarded the 50 MW turnkey contract to Wärtsilä, as the company offered the best overall evaluated proposal for CEL. This decision was supported by the international, independent consultant Fichtner in Germany. "Wärtsilä's technology was selected for its demonstrated economic, reliable, and environmentally friendly operation on low cost fuels and fast-track delivery", says Frank Donnelly, Vice-President of Wärtsilä North America Inc.

The power plant also includes fuel storage tanks and a new 138 kV switchyard and its interconnection line to the national electric grid. Wärtsilä's modular design was of key interest to CEL since the utility required the design and installation of this first phase to accommodate later, easy phased expansions of the plant up to a generating capacity of 200 MW.

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