Natural gas power plant for Sasol in South Africa


Wartsila’s scope of supply comprises the turnkey delivery of the complete power plant, including engineering, procurement and contracting. It will be powered by 18 Wartsila 20V34SG generating sets running on natural gas, with an output of 180 MW. The order is included in Wartsila’s order book during the second quarter 2011, the company said.

The turnkey power plant will be installed at the company’s facilities in Sasolburg, south of Johannesburg. It will generate baseload electricity for the company’s own use, with excess production being eventually wheeled through the national grid.

In addition to enabling the customer to reduce its operating costs, the new gas engine-based power plant will notably reduce the company’s carbon footprint in the area. Another key environmental factor is that the Wartsila solution operates with a closed circuit cooling system, thus consuming absolutely no water. This is very important in a region where water is scarce.

“Wartsila’s ability to meet the customer’s needs regarding high operating efficiency, low generating costs and strong environmental sustainability, was the key factor in being awarded this contract by Sasol New Energy Holdings. We have been able to comply with the very stringent quality and HSE standards required by oil and gas industry regulations. This was confirmed by thorough quality audit held in Wartsila,” says Tony van Velzen, Regional Director, Africa, Wartsila Power Plants.

The efficiency of the Wartsila gas engines is especially important, as the Sasolburg plant is located at an altitude of 1700 metres. Despite of this altitude, gas engines can operate extremely efficiently, the company added.