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Jordan launches world’s largest internal combustion power plant

The Amman-Asia Electric Power Company (AAEPC) has launched an electricity generation "mega project", the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported30 Apr 2015

The multi-fuel plant, called IPP3, has production capacity of 573MW and is already mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records,  Petra said.

The plant will add around 15% additional electricity to the country's grid, the report said.

IPP3 is a joint venture between Korea Electric Power, Mitsui and Finish power company Wärtsilä, in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the National Electric Power Company and the Jordan Water Authority, Petra said.

The plant is powered by 38 Wärtsilä 50DF multi-fuel engines which are fast to start and capable of ramping output up and down quickly. This will allow the plant to cover daily peaks and troughs in electricity usage, Wärtsilä said in a statement.

 “By starting one engine at a time, the plant can follow demand very precisely,” Taemin Kim, AAEPC administration manager said in the statement.

IPP3 can also be flexible in the fuel that it uses,  Wärtsilä said. It can run on heavy fuel oil (HFO), light fuel oil and natural gas. Currently HFO is used, because of a shortage of natural gas, but the plant will start to use liquified natural gas later this year, "as soon as it becoems available," the statement said.

IPP3 and a sister plant, IPP4, have been in commercial operation since late 2014. "According to data provided by the Jordanian grid operator NEPCO, their impact on the Jordanian power grid has been remarkable. Since the two engine plants have covered most of the peak demand, large gas turbine power plants in the grid have been released from this task. As a result, turbines now produce steady baseload, operating much more efficiently. This leads to significant savings in fuel, energy costs and CO2 emissions," Wärtsilä said.

"This empirical evidence shows how our Smart Power Generation power plants can optimise entire power systems by providing much-needed flexibility. Using internal combustion engines for peak load and gas turbines for baseload is the perfect combination in improving overall efficiency of the grid,” said Upma Koul, business development manager at Wärtsilä.

Fast-reacting back-up will also be needed to balance variable renewable power, Wärtsilä said, with 600 MW of solar and 1200 MW of wind energy projects expected to be installed in Jordan by 2020.

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