The technology group Wärtsilä has been contracted to deliver a dual-fuel power plant to the Caribbean island of Aruba. The 102 MW plant has been ordered by the local utility, Water – En Energiebedrijf Aruba N.V. (WEB), to enable WEB to build a solid foundation to transition to a cleaner and HFO (heavy fuel oil) free future. These engines will create the necessary flexibility in the current energy mix and are more efficient compared to the existing steam generating assets. The overall emissions from the WEB generating complex will be largely reduced and will have a positive impact on the environment. The fast-starting Wärtsilä Smart Power Generation solution will also enable WEB to increase its investment in renewable generation. The order was booked in Q2 and Notice to Proceed will be received in Q4.
The plant will initially operate on HFO. However, when liquefied natural gas (LNG) becomes available on the island, the plant will operate primarily on LNG but will have the capability to switch to alternative back-up fuels (HFO or LFO, light fuel oil) should it be necessary. The flexibility of the six Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines that will power this plant greatly facilitates the integration of higher levels of wind and solar into the system. By being able to reach full output in a matter of minutes and provide an effective balancing role, they ensure system stability to offset the inevitable fluctuations in supply from wind and sun.
“WEB has been aggressively taking steps to increase the efficiency and diversity of its generating assets. Central to this is the adoption of greater levels of renewable energy, and for this, our existing plant needs to be replaced with more efficient and flexible generation. The new Wärtsilä plant has the efficiency and flexibility needed to meet our needs,” commented Luis Oduber, CEO of WEB Aruba.
“We have enjoyed a close relationship with WEB for some 20 years already, and we are delighted to have been selected to deliver this clean burning, LNG fuelled Smart Power Generation plant to Aruba. The energy landscape is moving towards more flexible and sustainable energy systems, and Wärtsilä is leading the transition towards a 100 percent renewable energy future,” said Rodney George, Vice President Caribbean, at Wärtsilä Energy Solutions.
Wärtsilä will supply the plant on an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis. Delivery is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2019 and it is expected to be fully operational by February 2020.