Wärtsilä secures order for 70 MW dual-fuel power plant for new Nigerian cement plant

4th November 2021 By: Schalk Burger - Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor

Marine and energy technology multinational Wärtsilä has secured an order for a 70 MW captive power plant for Nigerian cement producer BUA’s Sokoto cement plant.

The power plant is required to supply the energy for an off-grid cement production line.

The order follows a 50 MW power plant for BUA and both orders feature Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel engines operating primarily with liquefied natural gas (LNG), but with the flexibility to switch to an alternative fuel oil should there be interruptions to the gas supply, quality or pressure.

Operation of the Wärtsilä engines is not affected by these interruptions.

The plant will operate on seven Wärtsilä 34DF engines scheduled for delivery by mid-2022. The plant is expected to be fully operational in 2023.

“Wärtsilä’s dual-fuel engine technology is particularly valuable where the primary fuel supply cannot be totally trusted. The flexibility and reliability of our solution were major considerations in the award of this contract, added to which the ability to operate on LNG considerably lessens the facility’s carbon footprint,” said Wärtsilä Africa West energy business director Marc Thiriet.

“To maintain our cement production requirements in line with our schedules and economic forecasts, we need reliable, fuel-efficient power generation. We also need capable and reliable after-market support, and in all these areas Wärtsilä is a strong partner with their local presence to provide excellent service.

"The decision to issue a repeat order for the new power plant from Wärtsilä was not, therefore, difficult to make,” said BUA Cement and BUA Group chairperson Abdul Samad Rabiu.

BUA Group subsidiary BUA Cement is one of Nigeria’s largest cement producers with operations spread across Nigeria.

In addition to the environmental sustainability benefit, it is estimated that the Wärtsilä solution will result in fuel cost savings of about 30% compared with existing power plants operating on heavy fuel oil.

Further, the operational flexibility of the Wärtsilä engines provides future-proofing advantages enabling the potential use of energy from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, the company said.