Power systems provider Rolls-Royce presented its high-speed and medium-speed power generation products, including various power generation solutions in the 24 kW to 9 400 kW range suitable for a wide variety of applications and types of fuel, at Power & Electricity World Africa. The event was held in Johannesburg in March.
The company notes that, with the implementation of South Africa’s National Development Plan, the aim of the Department of Energy is to ensure that at least 95% of the population has access to the electricity grid by 2030. In addition, the department aims to meet the country’s rapidly increasing demand for electric power with a wide range of efficient and reliable power generation technologies and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 42% by 2025.
“Power generation products manufactured by Rolls-Royce Power Systems – from combined heat and power plants to emergency backup systems and gas gensets [generation sets] – can provide a sustainable, stable and affordable supply of electric power and are, thus, extremely important in meeting South Africa’s demand for energy,” says diesel engine supplier MTU South Africa CEO Andrea Nono.
Forming part of the display at the Johannesburg event was a model of an 18-cylinder diesel genset, marketed under Rolls- Royce’s MTU Onsite Energy brand and based on the company’s Series 2000 engine. The genset incorporates common-rail technology and produces up to 1 120 kW of power. Power generation systems manufactured by MTU Onsite Energy are based on diesel engines with a power output of up to 3 250 kW and gas engines to 2 530 kWe. The model of a Rolls-Royce Series B35:40 gas engine was also exhibited on the stand, with engines of this series available in a power range extending from 3 700 kW to 9 400 kW.
Nono adds that gas-fired power generation plants, in particular, will be a key factor in the years to come as gas represents a clean and affordable alternative fuel to coal as the prime source of energy. This is a trend supported by Rolls-Royce as evidenced through their recent involvement in projects in Africa.
In February, a new 100 MW power generation plant based on medium-speed engines went into operation in Mozambique and core equipment supplied to the plant included thirteen 20-cylinder gas-based Rolls- Royce engines of type B35:40V20AG2. The plant is owned and operated by independent power producer Gigawatt Mozambique and it will supply electrical power to the national grid through a power purchase agreement with State-owned utility Electricidade de Mozambique. Rolls-Royce Power Systems has received further orders to deliver MTU Onsite Energy gas gensets for power generation plants for biogas and combined heat and power plants in South and West Africa.
In addition, Rolls-Royce delivered 36 MTU Onsite Energy brand natural-gas-powered gensets for a gas power plant in Accra, in Ghana, in May. The Type 16V 4000 L32 gensets produce 1 560 kW of electric power and will feed 56 MW into the country’s public grid. The VRA Tema thermal power plant was built and is operated by decentralised power generation solutions provider VPower Group and is expected to play a significant role in stabilising the country’s power supply network, says Rolls-Royce. The high-speed gas engines will be serviced by MTU Asia in cooperation with MTU South Africa.
Rolls-Royce notes that Ghana suffers from a shortage of electric power and the Ghanaian Energy Commission has resolved to feed an extra 3 000 MW into the public grid by 2020. Major oil- and gasfields have been under development since 2007 and since that time these two fuels have been the primary sources of energy within the country.
“Our gas-powered engines are particularly well-suited for distributed power plants such as those in Ghana. They offer rapid solutions that can be implemented in a relatively short time and are thus capable of helping to stabilise public power supplies,” highlights Nono.
MTU Onsite Energy and VPower also announced a strategic agreement in March that is strengthening their partnership in power generation markets across China and the rest of Asia.
“The project in Ghana shows that our success as partners is not limited to Asia. Our system design and integration capabilities and MTU Onsite Energy’s gensets are a perfect match and allow us to offer our customers a fast and sound solution for their power needs,” concludes VPower Group co- CEO Rorce Au-Yeung.