GE gas engines to power new anti-malaria equipment plant in Nigeria

GE Jenbacher J624 gas engines17 April 2013, Lagos – Highlighting the growing demand for distributed power solutions to meet Africa’s industrial energy demands, GE has announced it will supply three of its 4-megawatt (MW) Jenbacher J624 gas engines and one of its 2-MW J612 units to power a new factory that will produce billions of syringes and intravenous (IV) drug products that are needed each year to fight against malaria in Africa.

Clarke Energy—GE’s authorized distributor of Jenbacher gas engines in Nigeria—will install the 14-MW cogeneration plant at the syringe and IV products factory on behalf of Nigeria-based Integrated Medical Industries Limited (IMIL).

Based in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, IMIL is the first company in the West African sub-region to obtain World Health Organization (WHO) pre-qualification for auto-disable syringes. IMIL is solely owned by the Rivers State Government in Nigeria.

IMIL, which was established by the Pan African Health Foundation (PAHF), with the sponsorship and collaboration of the Rivers State Government, recently began implementing the US$275 million, integrated medical industries project to expand the availability of needed syringes and IV products. PAHF operates an existing equipment production facility at the IMIL site.

IMIL’s new syringe and IV products operation is scheduled to start production in 2014. Each year, the new facility is expected to produce 1 billion syringes, 1 billion hypodermic needles, 105 million sets of IV bags and 90 million liters of IV solutions, medications and injectables.

“We selected Clarke Energy and GE’s Jenbacher gas engines following a comprehensive assessment of technology options. Using gas as a fuel will provide us significant cost savings compared to diesel. We are confident this will deliver reliable supplies of power to our production plant using the most advanced technology,” said Amenya Wokoma, executive project director for IMIL.

Reliable power supplies are essential for smooth operation of the syringe factory since power interruptions can damage batches of syringes. Demand for electricity in Nigeria is high, and the national grid has a challenge meeting this demand. The cogeneration facility, however, will rely on Nigeria’s own growing gas distribution network to ensure it has a reliable fuel supply.

IMIL also selected the Jenbacher gas engines to take advantage of lower natural gas prices compared to diesel fuel, with the additional capital expenditure typically being paid off between 12 to 18 months.

The power plant will be installed within the manufacturing facility and will operate in island mode to provide reliable on-site electrical power and heat.

The new factory comes at a crucial time in Africa’s fight against malaria and other infectious diseases. According to the WHO, about half the world’s population is at risk of malaria.

People living in poor regions are at most risk from malaria. In 2010 alone, the WHO reported that 90 percent of all malaria deaths occurred in the WHO African Region, mostly among children under five years of age.1

The on-site power plant also will contribute to the Nigerian government’s ambitious targets to modernize the nation’s electrical generation infrastructure.

The new cogeneration plant will be the first power project in sub-Saharan Africa to utilize GE’s 24-cylinder J624 gas engines. GE’s J624 is the world’s first 24-cylinder gas engine and is characterised by high efficiency and reliable performance.

“When it comes to deploying the best available distributed power solutions to the front lines of Africa’s battle against malaria, IMIL recognized that GE’s J624 technology is ideally suited to ensure it has the power needed to maintain its production of vital medical equipment,” said Karl Wetzlmayer, general manager of gas engines—GE Power & Water.

GE is scheduled to deliver the J624 and J612 units in the third quarter of 2013. Clarke Energy is serving as the single point of contact from initial sale, project management, engineering, installation through to commissioning, and long-term
*Ese Eborhota, NCW

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