Wärtsilä has signed a contract with Matelec to provide a 130MW Flexicycle plant for the Malicounda power project in Mbour in Senegal.


Image: Wärtsilä will supply seven such Wärtsilä 50 engines for the Malicounda power project. Photo: courtesy of Wärtsilä.

Matelec, which is part of the Lebanon-based Matelec Group, is the contractor of Melec Power Gen (MPG), an independent power producer operating across Africa.

Scheduled to commence operations in 2020, the Malicounda power project is part of Senegal’s strategy to grow its energy production, and in the medium term, cut down on electricity costs for customers.

The power project was initiated in last September through the signing of a development agreement between African infrastructure development fund Africa 50 and Senegal’s state power utility Senelec.

Matelec Group CEO Sami Soughayar said: “This is a major energy project that is very important for Senegal.

“We needed a reliable and qualified partner to engineer and provide the flexible and reliable energy system, now and as our energy infrastructure evolves. With its global and Pan-African experience, Wärtsilä fully meets the project requirements.”

Wärtsilä, under its contract, will engineer, manufacture and deliver the Flexicycle plant, which is expected to help Senegal to bring down energy costs and integrate more renewable energy. The power plant will run on seven Wärtsilä 50 engines that will be initially fueled by heavy fuel oil (HFO).

Wärtsilä said that there is an option to convert the plant to gas-fuelled operation with the availability of gas from recently discovered gas fields. Currently, there is an inter-governmental cooperation agreement between Senegal and Mauritania to develop significant gas resources, which will be shared by the two African countries.

The Finnish technology group said that its Flexicycle power plants combine the benefits of a flexible simple cycle plant with the efficiency of a combined cycle plant. The Flexicycle thermal plant solution is based on a gas, multi-fuel, or liquid fuel power plant combined with a steam turbine, said Wärtsilä.

The company further said that the Flexicycle power plants can run in highly efficient combined cycle mode and also in dynamic and fast simple cycle mode.

Wärtsilä Energy Solutions Africa West regional director Arnaud Gouet said: “Wärtsilä has a well-established footprint in Senegal and throughout West Africa, and our global references provide ample proof of our capabilities in delivering efficient, reliable and flexible solutions.”