21 May 2012 – A three year operations and maintenance (O&M) agreement that covers Sasol New Energy’s gas engine power plant project in Sasolburg, South Africa, was signed with Wärtsilä. Typically, O&M agreements can be tailored to cover the entire scope of operational, management, and maintenance services, as well as provide the installation’s performance guarantees.
 
The Sasol New Energy plant is expected to start producing electricity towards the end of 2012. It will be the largest power plant running exclusively on gas engines to be installed on the African continent, and because of its low emissions, will be a major advance in developing Sasol’s electricity business. The plant has installed capacity of 180 MW and it will provide the energy needed to power the company’s major new production facilities, such as the Sasol wax expansion and ethylene purification unit 5 projects, that are under construction.
 
"The gas engine power plant employs a cleaner fossil fuel based technology than traditional coal based technology and will reduce the CO2 emissions by about a million tonnes a year. In addition, it also generates electricity at a higher efficiency," Kribs Govender, general manager, low carbon electricity, Sasol New Energy, says.
 
"The Sasolburg power plant is designed with high operating efficiency, low generating costs, and a minimal carbon footprint in mind," A.P. Singh, general manager, Wärtsilä solutions support services, south Europe & Africa, says.
 
Globally, more than 16 GW of generating capacity in both marine and land based installations − more than 500 installations − is covered by Wärtsilä’s O&M and other service agreements. Eighteen such agreements are in Africa. However, the Sasol agreement is Wärtsilä’s first O&M agreement in South Africa.