The Ecuadorian Electricity Corporation (Celec EP) has acquired 37 internal combustion generator sets, which are electricity generation engines, which will enable the production of 63 MW (megawatts) for the Quevedo and Santa Elena III thermal plants.

This acquisition is part of the actions taken by Celec to guarantee electricity generation service during the dry season expected between October 2023 and March 2024, which includes managing the maintenance of the generation facilities for 191 MW and recovering the 312 MW that were unavailable.

The budgeted amount of this acquisition is USD 65.82 million, excluding VAT, which is financed by the Corporation’s own funds. This addition of units replaces second generation engines that have been transferred to service in the oil sector.

With the support of the relevant technical and legal analysis, and the approval of the Celec Board of Directors, chaired by the Coordinating Society of Public Enterprises, the Ministry of Energy and Mining and the Planning Secretariat, the purchase was made through a process of direct contracting to the manufacturer, which resulted in lower costs and shorter delivery times.

The pre-contractual process, which started in April, is based on the request of the National Electricity Operator (Cenace) to guarantee electricity supply during the dry period. The contract was concluded on August 3, after all conditions established by law had been met. It is expected that the first aggregates will arrive in the country at the beginning of December, and the rest of the equipment by March.

Celec’s manager Gonzalo Uquillas spoke about this engine purchase fuel oil in an interview given to this newspaper a few days ago. So it was expected to be in the first quarter of 2024, but it was expected to arrive in December.

Cenace said that he wants to prepare another plant in his fleet for the dry season and does not rule out the possibility of importing natural gas and using the Campo Amistad plant for six months. This, in order for the Termogás Machala factory to produce at maximum capacity. However, this last option has caused discomfort in some companies participating in the tender for the Amistad field (which will produce a larger amount of national gas) because they believe that the initial conditions of the tender are not respected.

Čelec also hopes that an executive decree will be signed in the coming days, which will enable them to contract thermogeneration at fuel oil also 300mw which can be via barge or on land. Finally some electricity could be bought from Colombia.