The manufacturer of large-bore diesel engines and turbomachinery, MAN Diesel & Turbo, is increasingly expanding its business activities across the African continent. The company has received an order for two dual-fuel, large-bore diesel engines of type 18V51/60DF, including the electromechanical equipment for generating electricity, worth some Euro 13 million. The systems are to produce more than 35 MW of electricity for the power grid in Libreville, the capital of Gabon, and thereby help stabilise the electricity supply. The customer is the Israeli power firm Telemenia Ltd., which is building the power plant for the Gabon government. It is set to go into operation in 2011. Since 2009, the engines and systems builder has supplied large-bore diesel engines and technical equipment for power generation worth around Euro 90 million to African countries such as Egypt, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Madagascar and the Cape Verde Islands.

Dual-fuel engines from MAN Diesel & Turbo can either be operated with liquid fuel or natural gas. In Gabon’s case particularly, this is a crucial advantage: the west African country has gas and crude oil reserves that can be used with modern MAN dual-fuel engines to produce energy efficiently. The primary source of fuel will be natural gas, but if there are any gaps in the supply, the engines can be switched over at any time to heavy fuel oil, diesel or bio-fuel.
Especially for the company’s power plants division, Africa offers tremendous potential. In many places in Africa, people and businesses are not guaranteed a stable supply of adequate electricity. This is slowing down economic development in many regions. Power plant solutions from MAN Diesel & Turbo are able to close this gap quickly and effectively. For many African countries, large gas, coal or thermal power plants are unsuitable, since there are only a few contiguous, large-scale power grids in place, energy demands are subject to tremendous fluctuations due to the inadequate and in some places unreliable production of electricity, and the infrastructure for supplying such systems is almost non-existent. Diesel power plants, on the other hand, are much more flexible and often more efficient to operate, which in turn makes them cheaper.
In light of these advantages, MAN Diesel & Turbo has recently won more orders from Africa for efficient and low-emissions power plant systems. In order to step up its presence in Africa, MAN Diesel & Turbo opened a further sales and service office in Nairobi, Kenya, in November 2009 – in addition to its existing office in South Africa.
The company’s Strategic Business Unit “Turbomachinery” also has many years’ experience and reference customers on the African continent. Numerous projects have been secured in mining countries such as Angola or Nigeria involving the extraction, transportation and processing of crude oil and natural gas. In South Africa and Egypt as well, two leading African economies, MAN Diesel & Turbo has successfully managed well over 200 projects in the last 50 years. In addition to the oil and gas business, the company also receives numerous orders from the mining and extraction industries, industrial gases and the raw materials sector.