Energy Capital & Power

Wärtsilä, Senelec Sign 10-Year Asset Performance Agreement Contract

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Finnish manufacturer and power servicing firm, Wärtsilä, has signed a ten-year guaranteed asset performance agreement contract with Senegal’s national power company, Senelec, for the co-developed 130 MW Malicounda Melec power plant in Senegal.

This $167 million project owes its existence to a three-way consortium comprised of Africa50, Senelec and MP Energy (previously, Melec PowerGen), and is located in Mbour, south of the country’s capital, Dakar. With operational reliability now contractually assured, the nation can benefit from secure, cost-effective, domestic power generation, reinforcing Wärtsilä’s pivotal role as the leading supplier of power generation equipment in Senegal across 20 power plants with 458 MW under long-term service agreements.

The Malicounda Melec power plant began construction in September 2017 and despite COVID-19 delays, pushed on for completion under lockdown conditions. Infrastructure investment platform, Africa50, acts as the project’s financier, Senelec as its government partner and MP Energy as local lead and sponsor. The plant’s development increases Senegal’s power generation capacity by 17% while simultaneously lowering costs for generation by approximately 14%.

Furthermore, through AI-based predictive maintenance tools and advanced diagnostics from real-time monitoring, Wärtsilä is able to continually optimize the operations of the facility for maximum output, pre-emptively servicing equipment as necessary for an uninterrupted flow. Local operators can also connect with Wärtsilä’s expertise centers for remote support from qualified experts with minimum indices like heat rate and power output slated as guarantees in the freshly signed contract.

Although initially, Malicounda Melec will run on heavy fuel oil, the genius of Wärtsilä’s dual-fuel engine technology is that a full switch can be made to gas, specifically Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), once domestic sources come online.

Current plans are for the existing 46 Wärtsilä engines to be replaced by the more updated 50 engines capable of running gas with heavy fuel oils as a back-up source. This, together with Wärtsilä’s patented flexicycle operation, merging the best of conventional simple and combined cycle plants, positions Malicounda Melec as a promising new beacon for Senegal’s domestic power generation and electricity supply- an agile interim LNG-to-power bridge solution leading the country forward as projects such as the bp Greater Tortue Ahmeyim gas field come online.

MSGBC Oil, Gas & POWER 2022

Under the patronage of H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power will once again take place in Dakar, Senegal, with the event serving as a catalyst for investment and multi-sector development in 2022. To find out more visit or contact [email protected].

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Elliot Connor

Elliot Connor

Elliot Connor is Energy Capital & Power's Field Editor for the MSGBC region. He holds a PgD in Environmental Engineering and is currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration. He is also a bestselling author, TED speaker and charity CEO, having priorly worked as a columnist for India’s largest newspaper: The Daily Pioneer.