Deal between Aselca and Viking to benefit Colombian businesses

Aselca, an independent power producer in Colombia, has turned to Viking Heat Engines to improve its power supply service in Barranquilla, the country’s fourth most populous city. With the help of Viking, Aselca will be able to generate more power to its growing number of business customers looking for a reliable source of energy.

“A perfect storm is forming,” says Alberto Peralta, President and owner of Aselca. “High cost, low reliability of the public grid and the threat of another El Niño are driving business in Barranquilla and elsewhere in Colombia towards self-sufficient power generation independent of the grid”.
Vikings Dirk Nuber shakes hands with Aselcas Alberto Peralta

Aselca recently signed a contract with Corpacero, a steel solutions supplier in Colombia, for the installation, operation and maintenance of a 2.1 MW auto generation plant (also known as combined heat and power plant) in Barranquilla for which Viking Heat Engines will supply two CraftEngines. The CraftEngines will be used to recover the low-temperature waste heat from the three Siemens (Guascor) gas engines that make up the plant, allowing Aselca to generate additional electricity for Corpacero’s production facilities.

A more reliable source of energy

For decades, customers of the utilities in Colombia have been struggling with power outages and unpredictable prices. Over the last few years, mainly driven by an extensive and reliable gas network, independent power producers (IPPs) have been installing auto generation plants for manufacturing businesses in Barranquilla.  With the utilities continued challenges and success of auto generation, more and more customers are turning their back on the old utilities and turning to solutions that are more efficient, cleaner, reliable and cheaper.

Edgar Marshall, Chairman of Corpacero, says: “We firmly believe that auto generation is the future for us. The technologies (Siemens and Viking) used by Aselca improve our availability and reduce our costs. This is the best choice for our business moving forward. That’s why we are already planning for phase III that will add another 4MW to our power supply”.

Making auto generation even more attractive

Viking Heat Engines’ CraftEngine technology will improve the efficiency of Aselca’s power plant by 4 per cent, which means that the company will be able to generate up to 90 kW of additional power output or 750,000 kWh per year. On top of the obvious costs benefits, the installation will save up to 350 tonnes in CO2 per year.

“The CraftEngine is the perfect solution to increase the efficiency of our plants, while reducing costs and greenhouse emissions,” says Peralta. “The engine allows us to make use of all available heat, even heat that we would normally be used for absorption chillers.”

Dirk Nuber, CEO of Viking Heat Engines Caribbean, adds: “This project with Aselca is another milestone in our efforts to expand our Colombian market. Colombia has all the right ingredients to become a major player in the renewable energy business in South America. Solid economic growth, government incentive programs and, not to forget, the peace process will no doubt further lead Colombian businesses to turn to technology companies like Viking Heat Engines to conserve energy or, as we have proven with our partner SuperBrix in Barranquilla before, turn biomass waste into clean and affordable energy.

*The CraftEngine is based on the Organic Rankine Cycle principle and specifically designed to recover low-temperature waste heat into electricity. Depending on the case at hand, the CraftEngine can improve the power output of a combined heat and power plant by up to 10 per cent.  As a reference, the more efficiency conscious genset manufacturers usually battle to improve their efficiency by 1 per cent. Using the CraftEngine provides the consumer with a leap of an order of magnitude by recovering otherwise wasted energy.

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