Matelec, the plant’s Engineering, Procurement and Construction contractor, selected Wärtsilä for the delivery of its energy efficient 130 MW Flexicycle power generation technology. The Malicounda power plant comprises seven 18V50 engines and a steam turbine, combining the advantages of a simple-cycle operation with the high efficiency of a combined cycle plant. Its fast load-following power capability means that the plant is suited to maintain system reliability and is able to offer the flexibility needed as intermittent renewable energy is progressively added to Senegal’s power grid.

“We are grateful to our partners for having entrusted us to deliver our cutting-edge Flexicycle technology for this very important project. We have a well-established footprint in Senegal, and it is extremely satisfying to see yet another emblematic power plant equipped with our technology now in full operation. We are confident that that this highly efficiency plant will enable Senegal to reduce electricity production costs,” Marc Thiriet, Director, Africa at Wärtsilä Energy said.

The plant will initially operate on heavy fuel oil, however, there is an option to convert it to run on locally supplied gas from the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim field once it becomes available, further lowering the cost of energy.

The Malicounda power plant is a central part of the government’s Plan Sénégal Emergent to strengthen the country’s emerging economy and provide electricity access to everyone by 2025. It was one of the first public private partnership projects in West Africa, involving the African Development Bank, Africa50, the Infrastructure Development Fund for Africa and Senelec – Senegal’s state power utility.

Wärtsilä is a provider of power generating equipment with 543 MW of installed capacity across 20 power plants in Senegal. With the Malicounda power plant included, 458 MW of this capacity is under Wärtsilä long-term maintenance agreements.