Switch to LNG marks first gas plant conversion in Senegal

Conversion of six Wärtsilä engines to dual-fuel will enable Senelec to provide highly flexible, fast-starting baseload power from Bel-Air plant for balancing the grid.

Power Engineering International

A switch from heavy fuel oil to LNG at a 90 MW power station will mark the first ever gas plant conversion in Senegal.

The work will be carried out on the 90 MW Bel-Air plant in Dakar, owned by public utility Senelec.

“Our two main aims are to improve the plant’s environmental profile and lower the operating costs,” said Senelec managing director Papa Mademba Biteye. “At the same time, we are preparing the plant for the country’s future gas supply infrastructure.”

The conversion will be delivered by Finnish energy technology company Wärtsilä, whose West Africa director Marc Thiriet said that “future-proofing the assets… is far more cost-effective than building a new plant”.

“It also facilitates the greater use of energy from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, since the converted plant will be able to provide highly flexible, fast-starting baseload power for balancing the grid.”

The Bel-Air plant’s existing six Wärtsilä engines will be converted for dual-fuel capability. As well as Bel-Air, Senelec has three other plants running on the firm’s engines.

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