The MW Bel Air power plant which was built back in 2005 in Hann Bel-Air, Dakar is set to be converted from heavy fuel oil to liquefied natural gas (LNG) run facility, in a bid to improve its environmental profile and to lower ITS operating costs.
Senelec (Société nationale d’électricité du Sénégal), the national electricity company of Senegal has up till now chosen Wärtsilä Corporation, a Finnish company that manufactures and services power sources and other equipment in the marine and energy markets to undertake the conversion works.
This project is part of an interim LNG-to-Power ‘bridge’ solution and is the first-ever power plant gas conversion in the West African country.
Scope of the project
As part of the project, the Finnish company will convert the Bel-Air plant’s existing six Wärtsilä 46 engines to six Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines built with a technology that allows the use of multiple fuels, providing the option to operate on gas with liquid fuels as a backup.
Besides the engine conversion, the project will cover all other aspects to ensure successful operations of the facility on gas. Everything from safety to operational reliability will be taken into account. For example control functions, mechanical auxiliary systems, as well as electrical and automation systems will be changed or upgraded as required.
As part of the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract, Wärtsilä will manage all phases of the project, which is expected to be completed before the end of this year.
Renegotiating the plant’s operation & maintenance agreement
It should be noted that Wärtsilä operates and maintains the current six Wärtsilä 46 engines of the plant under a 15-year agreement signed with Senelec back in 2006.
However, we learn that the company is renegotiating with the Senegalese authorities for a new operating contract in view of the conversion.
In addition to the Bel-Air plant, Senelec also has three other Wärtsilä power plants in operation in the West African country including the Kahone plant.