Wärtsilä Powering Bahamas Natural Gas Plant

132 MW fast-track project will eventually use natural gas

A Wärtsilä 50 engine. Seven of the engines will power a 132 MW plant for Bahamas Power and Light (BPL),

Wärtsilä will deliver a 132 MW power for Bahamas Power and Light (BPL), on a full engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) basis.

The plant will be delivered as a fast-track project as is scheduled to go into commercial operations in the end of summer 2019. The plant will operate on seven Wärtsilä 50 engines. It will be fueled primarily with liquefied natural gas (LNG) when it becomes locally available, but will be operated on conventional heavy fuel oil until then. The operational flexibility of the plant, which will be capable of reaching full output from start-up in a matter of minutes, will facilitate the introduction of increased levels of renewable energy into the system, the company said. The Wärtsilä engines are designed to provide an effective balancing role, ensuring system stability to offset the inevitable fluctuations in supply from wind and sun, preparing for the deployment of large scale renewables on the island.

The installation will be in BPL’s existing Station A on the island of New Providence, which is being stripped of all of its current slow-speed reciprocating engines to make room for the new Wärtsilä generating sets.

“BPL is on a parallel path to install additional generating capacity as quickly as possible in order to meet demand, and to replace our existing temporary generating assets,” said Whitney Hastie, CEO of BPL. “We have selected highly efficient Wärtsilä prime movers that are suitable for the Bahamas environment, and which have the flexibility to be upgraded to burn natural gas when LNG becomes available on the island of New Providence. We are convinced that as a technology leader in energy efficient engine solutions and as an experienced EPC contractor, Wärtsilä will meet our expectations for this project.”

“Wärtsilä is delighted to be selected by BPL to take on this challenging project. This will be our first major EPC project in the Bahamas, and we look forward to meeting BPL’s tight delivery schedule and their expectation for reliable and efficient additional power generation. We are also mindful of BPL’s future strategic interests in utilising clean burning LNG and in adding renewable capacity. Wärtsilä has the expertise to support these initiatives and look forward to a long-lasting partnership with BPL, said Edmund Phillips, Business Development Manager, Caribbean, Wärtsilä Energy Business.

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