Senegal power plant inaugurated

A power plant in Senegal, with plans to be converted to run on regasified liquefied natural gas, was inaugurated on Monday, June 13.

The new Cap des Biches 53 MW Flexicycle power plant comprises three Wärtsilä 46 internal combustion engines and a combined cycle heat recovery system, the Finnish engine manufacturer said in a statement.

The power plant will feed electricity to the national grid under a 20-year power purchase agreement between ContourGlobal, the owner of the plant, and Senelec, the national electricity company of Senegal.

The project is financed by International Finance Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary of the World Bank Group, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

The project is part of the U.S. Government’s Power for Africa initiative, which aims to add 30,000 MW of new power generation capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the statement.

Wärtsilä and ContourGlobal have already signed a contract to expand the power plant with two additional Wärtsilä 46 engines having a combined capacity of 34 MW. Once completed, the 87 MW power plant will provide a 10 percent increase to Senegal’s current total generation capacity of 860 MW, making it critical covering the growing electricity demand in Senegal, Wärtsilä said.

According to Wärtsilä, the project is designed so that the plant can quickly be converted to natural gas as soon as it becomes available.

Senelec has announced plans to invest in a floating liquefied natural gas regasification terminal.

The power utility signed a preliminary deal in May last year with Qatar’s Nebras Power and Japan’s Mitsui & Co to build the LNG import terminal.

This will “improve Senegal’s fuel security, reduce carbon emissions, and lower the cost of electricity to the consumer,” Wärtsilä said in the statement.

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