The Greek Island of Rhodes is to boost its power supplies with a new power plant based on Wärtsilä reciprocating engines.

The Finland-based engine manufacturer has been awarded a contract by Terna to supply the equipment and engineering for the new plant, which will have a capacity of 119 MWe and become fully operational in late 2011.

The South Rhodes Power Station will generate electricity for the island’s grid from seven Wärtsilä 18V46 engines running on heavy fuel oil. The auxiliary equipment and emissions cleaning system will also be supplied by Wärtsilä, which is negotiating a maintenance contract for the plant.

The project is being developed by Terna on behalf of Public Power Corporation, Greece’s national electric utility. It selected a multi-engine power plant design because of the dramatic surge in electricity demand experienced on Rhodes in the holiday season.

The potential to convert the engines to run on gas in the future was also a factor, according to Wärtsilä.