Senegal’s national utility Societe Nationale d’Electricite du Senegal (SENELEC) has signed a deal with international power generation company ContourGlobal to construct a new 53MW thermal facility under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

With a US$100 million investment, the new plant is designed to burn heavy fuel oil and natural gas and when completed in 2015 will be the lowest-cost liquid fuel and natural gas-fired power plant in Senegal.

The project, located on the outskirts of the capital city Dakar, and called ContourGlobal Cap des Biches, will be constructed on an existing power plant site acquired by ContourGlobal in May 2013.

Steam turbine technology

ContourGlobal will install Wartsila 18V46 high efficiency engines, a technology that has been used by ContourGlobal in Togo and Rwanda. The engines will be coupled with a steam turbine technology known as ‘flexi-cycle’ to increase the generation capacity, thereby further reducing the cost of electricity.

Joseph C. Brandt, president and chief executive officer of ContourGlobal, said: “By utilising the infrastructure at the existing site, we are able to provide SENELEC with the lowest cost electricity in their engine-based generation portfolio, replacing expensive emergency power rental equipment.

He added: “By designing the project with Wartsila so that it can quickly be converted to natural gas, we are working to fulfill the promise made by President Macky Sall to diversify the Senegalese power infrastructure away from liquid fuels.”