23 July 2012 – Wärtsilä has signed an operations and maintenance (O&M) agreement with Gulf Power Ltd. (GPL), a subsidiary of Gulf Energy Ltd. in the Kenyan energy sector.
The agreement is for ten years, and will cover the full operations, maintenance and servicing of a power plant to be built, located in Athi River, southeast of Nairobi. The contract to supply the turnkey power plant was signed in March 2012. The plant will be powered by Wärtsilä engines running on heavy fuel oil (HFO), and is scheduled to be completed by September 2013. When operational, it will have an electrical output capacity of 80 MW that will be fed to the grid. It will be the third largest HFO power plant installed in Kenya to be exclusively operated by Wärtsilä.
The GPL power plant will greatly assist Kenya to achieve a more diversified energy mix and increased stability in its power generation. The country relies heavily on hydropower, which is frequently prone to supply interruptions because of drought. This new power plant will notably increase Kenya’s installed thermal generation capacity.
Wärtsilä’s total installed thermal generating capacity in Kenya will be some 434 MW by the end of 2013 when the GPL power plant comes on stream. This represents approximately 60% of the country’s total thermal capacity.