Wärtsilä to provide upgrade to Cameroon power plant
By Becky Schultz22 August 2022
Wärtsilä, a global provider of technologies and life-cycle solutions for the marine and energy markets, has been contracted to upgrade the electrical and automation systems of the Kribi power plant in the Republic of Cameroon. Wärtsilä will also support the plant’s operational and maintenance performance with a 10-year long-term service agreement.
The 216 MW Kribi plant has been in operation for nearly 10 years and utilizes 13 Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines running primarily on natural gas. At the time it was commissioned, it was reported to be the largest gas engine power plant in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“The Kribi power plant has a vital role within the African energy sector. It is still today supplying two-thirds of the thermal energy in Cameroon,” said Gionata Visconti, chief operating officer at Globeleq, an independent power producer and owner and operator of power generating facilities across Africa. Its subsidiary, Kribi power development company, placed the order with Wärtsilä.
While Cameroon’s energy system relies heavily on hydropower, its water resources are uncertain, making the Kribi plant key to ensuring a safe, cheap and reliable energy supply. “For this reason, we are keen to upgrade the power plant’s automation systems to the latest design to ensure optimal reliability, and to strengthen our cooperation with Wärtsilä, leveraging their competences on a continuous basis within the framework of the long-term service agreement,” said Visconti.
Wärtsilä maintains a strong regional presence, which will enable it to provide technical support to optimize engine performance and maximize the production capabilities of the power plant, noted Markus Ljungkvist, vice president, services, Wärtsilä Energy. “We are also in a position to ensure the availability of critical spare parts, and this is an essential element within the long-term service agreement between our companies,” he said. “All in all, this is a very important project, both for the customer and for Wärtsilä.”
The order will be booked in Wärtsilä’s order intake in Q3/2022, with the upgrade project scheduled to commence in 2023.