Finnish firm Wärtsilä signed a contract with Rio Amazonas Energia to convert Cristiano Rocha power plant in Manaus, Brazil, to a 100% natural gas operation.
At the same time, the firm aims to increase output from 85MW to 92MW.
In a statement, Wärtsilä said this will reduce the plant’s operational costs, and lessen its environmental impact. The improved plant performance is expected to raise competitiveness, especially with regard to future energy auctions, and enhance the possibilities for extending its existing power purchase agreement to supply energy to the national grid, which is set to expire in 2025.
In addition to the conversion, the two companies have signed a long-term service agreement with power plant performance guarantees.
The plant currently rents additional generators to ensure adequate output, and this cost will be eliminated when the conversion is completed. Furthermore, the use of natural gas fuel will reduce the plant’s environmental footprint by about 10%, representing some 35,000t carbon dioxide equivalent per year, which equals around 7600 cars.
The conversion is expected to finish in early 2021.