Wärtsilä has received full notice to proceed (NTP) from Energía del Caribe, S.A. for the supply of a 139 MW Flexicycle power plant to a site near Monterrey in Northern Mexico. Construction will start immediately. The turnkey contract was signed in September 2014 and the power station is scheduled to be in commercial operation in April 2016. The fast-track delivery includes seven gas-fired Wärtsilä 50SG engines, the largest gas engine in the world.
“The start of construction is a very important milestone for us. We are eager to start operations,” says Guillermo Barragán Toledo, Country Manager of Energía del Caribe, S.A.
In this unique project, electricity will be exported through Mexico to Guatemala. The company will deliver approximately 950 GWh of electricity per year to the utilities Empresa Eléctrica de Guatemala and Energuate. To reach the target, the baseload power plant will run at full output for 24 hours a day.
“We chose internal combustion engines to ensure reliability. If one of the seven engines is under maintenance, the other six are fully operational. This is how we avoid cut-offs,” Barragán Toledo says.
“Another reason was fuel efficiency. In this size range, engines are the most efficient technology. We also like the fact that engines maintain high efficiency in extreme temperatures.” To maximize efficiency, Wärtsilä Flexicycle power plants include a combined cycle steam turbine.
“Mexico is a very interesting market for us. Flexible engine power plants can help optimise the power system by providing efficient peaking power and fast-reacting back-up for wind and solar energy. This can lead to significant savings,” says Raul Carral, Wärtsilä’s Business Development Manager, after discussing Mexican energy reform plans with government officials in Mexico City recently.
“I’d like to welcome Finnish energy technology to Mexico. We can certainly work together to find the best solutions to optimise the Mexican power system and lower the cost of electricity,” said the Minister of Energy of Mexico, Pedro Joaquin Coldwell.
The Monterrey project will double Wärtsilä’s capacity in Mexico to 280 MW. Wärtsilä’s total installed capacity in North America, Central America and the Caribbean is over 7,000 MW.