gas Nigeria Wärtsilä Energy Business
Image: Wärtsilä Energy Business.

Technology group Wärtsilä has signed a long-term optimised maintenance agreement covering three Nigerian gas power plants owned by Paras Energy.

Wärtsilä will maintain the three plants in Ikorodu and Ogijo, which are owned by the Nigerian energy provider. All three plants covered by the five-year agreement use gas-fuel engines, which produce a combined total output of 132MW.

Based on an average connected capacity of 6.5kW for a Nigerian home, this represents the annual consumption equivalent of close to 20,300 domestic households.

Paras Energy managing director Yashwant Kumar says they have been working with Wärtsilä for 12 years and are convinced the technology group’s approach will provide the necessary support.

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The privately-owned independent energy supplier is connected to Nigeria’s national grid. Availability of generating assets is therefore key and a notable factor in the decision to sign the optimised maintenance agreement with Wärtsilä.

Paras Energy changed their technology from gas turbine technology to gas engines in 2009 back when gas turbines were the order of the day. Today using gas engines is in line with the Nigerian Federal Government’s integrated energy mix targets.

Gas engine technology can adapt faster to balance the intermittency and unpredictability that characterise the addition of renewables into the power generation mix. The Nigerian Sustainable Energy for All action agenda in the 30:30:30 vision document outlines a target of generating 30GW by 2030, with 30% coming from renewable energy sources.

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Maintaining a balanced system means flexible forms of electricity must be available to ramp up output at the same rate that wind or solar energy output fluctuates. A conventional power plant based on a combined cycle gas turbine technology can take several hours to reach operation at full capacity and could provide some flexibility by being run at a partial load. 

A flexible gas engine power plant though is made up of multiple engines, which can be fired up instantaneously, offering a larger range of power supply to complement RE without sacrificing efficiency.