Wartsila gets go-ahead for plant in Mexico

Wärtsilä has received full notice to proceed (NTP) from Energía del Caribe, S.A. for the supply of a 139 MW Flexicycle power plant to a site near Monterrey in Northern Mexico.

Construction will start immediately. The turnkey contract was signed in September 2014 and the power station is scheduled to be in commercial operation in April 2016, Wärtsilä said in an April 30 news release.

 The fast-track delivery includes seven gas-fired Wärtsilä 50SG engines, the largest gas engine in the world.   

The Monterrey project will double Wärtsilä’s capacity in Mexico to 280 MW. Wärtsilä’s total installed capacity in North America, Central America and the Caribbean is over 7,000 MW.

“The start of construction is a very important milestone for us. We are eager to start operations,” says Guillermo Barragán Toledo, Country Manager of Energía del Caribe, S.A.

In this unique project, electricity will be exported through Mexico to Guatemala. The company will deliver approximately 950 GWh of electricity per year to the utilities Empresa Eléctrica de Guatemala and Energuate. To reach the target, the baseload power plant will run around the clock at full output.

“We chose internal combustion engines to ensure reliability. If one of the seven engines is under maintenance, the other six are fully operational. This is how we avoid cut-offs,” Barragán Toledo said.

“Another reason was fuel efficiency. In this size range, engines are the most efficient technology. We also like the fact that engines maintain high efficiency in extreme temperatures.” To maximize efficiency, Wärtsilä Flexicycle power plants include a combined cycle steam turbine.

“Mexico is a very interesting market for us,” said Raul Carral, Wärtsilä’s Business Development Manager. “Flexible engine power plants can help optimize the power system by providing efficient peaking power and fast-reacting back-up for wind and solar energy,” Carral said.

“I’d like to welcome Finnish energy technology to Mexico,” said the Minister of Energy of Mexico, Pedro Joaquin Coldwell. “We can certainly work together to find the best solutions to optimize the Mexican power system and lower the cost of electricity,” the energy minister added.

In the United States, Wartsila engines have been selected in recent times for a Golden Spread Electric Cooperative power plant project in Texas as well as a Coffeyville Municipal Light and Power (CMLP) project in Kansas.

Wärtsilä North America is headquartered in Houston.

Wärtsilä is a leading global supplier of flexible baseload power plants of up to 600 MW operating on various gaseous and liquid fuels, according to the company’s website. As of 2014, Wärtsilä has 56 GW of installed power plant capacity in 170 countries around the world.


About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.