Bridging Power in Uruguay


The electricity sector of Uruguay is largely based on domestic hydropower, which leaves the country vulnerable to seasonal rainfall patterns. As a result, it is dependent on electricity imports from neighboring countries like Argentina and Brazil. However, given the economic growth and increasing electricity demand of these countries, Uruguay could no longer rely on imports to meet domestic consumption.


The Uruguayan state power company Usinas y Trasmisiones Eléctricas (UTE) needed a reliable, cost-effective temporary power solution to meet demand while new sources of power generation were financed and built. The requirement was a 150kV solution, which is an atypical interconnection voltage at 50Hz. Before APR Energy could begin, the site tie-in at 150kV needed to be reinforced in order to support the necessary power requirements. To ensure optimal performance of our state-of-the-art dual-fuel gas turbine technology, we also installed a series of centrifuges to guarantee a clean supply of diesel-oil.


To add capacity to the national grid and alleviate seasonal and market shortages, APR Energy delivered, installed, and commissioned a turnkey plant, consisting of four high power density FT8® MOBILEPAC® turbine generators. The plant, including the required substation and interconnection works, was completed in less than 45 days. To fast-track the delivery, we relied on an Antonov strategic airlift jet, one of the largest cargo airplanes in the world, to deliver the first MOBILEPAC® within days. The other three arrived via a private charter vessel. Once in operation, this capacity added 100MW to the national electricity grid and helped provide a temporary solution to mitigate Uruguay’s supply/demand constraints.


In late 2012, UTE determined that it would need supplemental power to eliminate its dependency from foreign energy generation. Following an RFP process, APR Energy was awarded an additional contract to provide an incremental 200MW, bringing its total capacity to 300MW in the country. Extremely satisfied with the service it received, UTE also renewed APR Energy’s original contract to run into mid-2014.