Wärtsilä has won a contract to supply a Flexicycle power plant to Energía del Pacífico S.A. in Acajutla, El Salvador, said to be the first in Central America to be fired by LNG-based natural gas.
The €240 million, 378 MW plant is scheduled for completion in 2018 and is likely to feed electricity to the national grid. An LNG import terminal is expected to come up at the same location.
Comprising 19 Wärtsilä 50SG engines and a combined cycle steam turbine producing fuel efficiency of close to 50%, the plant will use Dry Flexicycle technology with a closed-loop cooling system that requires zero water consumption. This comes as a benefit for El Salvador, which has recently suffered from drought.
About 50% of the 1600 MW generation capacity in El Salvador is based on oil, and the new power station is expected to decrease the price of electricity because the LNG-based natural gas is cheaper than oil. Natural gas produces 30% less carbon emissions and 99% less sulphur dioxide emissions than oil.
Sampo Suvisaari, regional director of Wärtsilä Energy Solutions said, ”This project proves that LNG can be imported into a relatively small country, and to a mid-sized power plant in a well-designed LNG-to-power project.”
Wärtsilä’s installed capacity in Central America and the Caribbean is approximately 4800 MW, and 58 GW around the world.