Why MAN Diesel & Turbo’s move to boost power generation in Senegal is perfect timing

With over 50 years of experience in doing business on the continent, MAN Diesel & Turbo has recently expanded to different parts of Africa in an attempt to improve electricity generation for the people. So far, over 3.2 gigawatts of generation capacity have been installed in 37 African countries and counting.

MAN Diesel & Turbo’s latest endeavour is the decision to cover 15 percent of Senegal’s electricity generation with a power plant, which can continue to increase electricity output in the future. This should be considered a milestone achievement for the country because, just like Nigeria, Senegal has consistently been confronted with challenges in power generation.

The power plant from MAN Diesel & Turbo is designed to operate with five MAN 18V48/60 engines and a MAN MARC steam turbine. The new power plant has a production capacity of up to 96 MW. The waste heat from the engines power a steam turbine, which, in turn, generates 6.6 MW of electricity.

In an era of Akon’s Lighting Africa Initiative and Barack Obama’s Power Africa Initiative, it appears Africa is getting more attention regarding electricity generation, as many countries within the continent still struggle with inadequate power supply.

Senegal has always been open to increasing its electricity generation capacity. In November 2014, Enerdata reported that Senegal was aiming to invest 307 billion West African CFA Franc (US$583m) in its energy sector by 2016, to improve energy security by diversifying its energy mix and by enhancing regional interconnection opportunities.

The report also stated that the investment will be directed towards increasing renewable capacity by 150 MW, including 50 MW of solar in 2015, 50 MW of wind and 50 MW of solar in 2016. There is already some work being done to bring this to reality as the International Finance Corporation’s Scaling Solar initiative was officially launched in Senegal last month, precisely on the 10th of February, with the signing of an agreement to develop 200 MW solar capacity in the country.

The country is also aiming to raise the available power capacity to 1,018 MW by 2017.

However, the MAN Diesel & Turbo power plant, which is located in Tobène, Thiès, will supply the national grid that is operated by Senegal’s national electricity company, SENELEC. It will generate the equivalent of 15 percent of the country’s current electricity consumption. It is the second plant in Africa to make use of MAN’s diesel combined cycle product package, the first being Thika City near Nairobi, Kenya in 2012. Then, it was also a five MAN 18V48/60 four-stroke engine, which produced a total of 88MW of electricity.

The CEO of MAN Diesel & Turbo France and Head of Power Plant Sales in the French-speaking regions of Western Africa, Mesut Yentur, has said CO2 emissions will be drastically reduced, making the environment a safer place for inhabitants. “The new plant uses our diesel combined cycle product package, which offers outstanding performance and excellent environmental standards. Thanks to the second cycle using a MARC steam turbine, fuel consumption is lowered by 6 percent,” he said.

Currently, the electricity generation has been added to the Senegalese national grid. By adding a diesel engine to the plant, the generation capacity will increase from 96 MW to 115 MW by the end of the second working phase.

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