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The Decades-Long Partnership That Powers Colombia  

In the early 2000s, Colombia was running out of gas. This was a problem for Termocandelaria Power Limited’s gas-powered plant in Cartagena, one of the country’s largest cities. In order to survive, the plant needed to convert to a dual-fuel facility that could be powered by a combination of gas and diesel fuels—all within 11 months.

Termocandelaria didn’t need a mere vendor, they needed a partner. That’s what they found in Mitsubishi Power, with whom they have partnered for more than 18 years to meet Colombia’s accelerating demand for energy.

The plant required a conversion of its W501F units to create the necessary dual-fuel capability. The W501F is a gas turbine Mitsubishi Power originally developed in tandem with Westinghouse. Today, multiple OEMs are capable of servicing the W501F machines, but only Mitsubishi Power was able to meet Termocandelaria’s urgent timeline—pulling together a team of experts in response to the bid and creating a bespoke solution to present to Termocandelaria.

“We were the first non-Mitsubishi Power plant in Latin America who said goodbye to the original manufacturer and completely turned to Mitsubishi Power technology,” says Luis Miguel Fernandez Zaher, CEO of Termocandelaria Power Limited. “That was a very big leap for us back in 2006. We had high stakes. We needed Mitsubishi Power to deliver for the survival of our company. It was a relationship built on trust and transparency, and of being objective and truthful with one another.”

There’s a close proximity we feel from all levels of the Mitsubishi Power organization. It’s like a family relationship. We see our upcoming partnership with Mitsubishi Power as a significant strategic leap in our operations in Colombia.

– Luis Miguel Fernandez Zaher
CEO of Termocandelaria Power Limited

Partnering closely with Termocandelaria to create a unique technological package specific to their plant, Mitsubishi Power helped not only meet but exceed the timeline for converting the facility to a state-of-the-art, dual-fuel plant. It also positioned Termocandelaria as a leading employer within the region, while expanding the capacity to create reliable and efficient electricity for the country at-large.

Now, after a decade of continued expansion throughout the Colombian energy market and strong financial performance, Termocandelaria and Mitsubishi Power are embarking on another significant project. To meet increasing energy demand, the country’s plants must both expand and diversify their energy sources and capacity. Termocandelaria and Mitsubishi Power are leading the way on this groundbreaking project by converting the flagship plant into a combined-cycle facility by 2022.

Converting a simple cycle plant into a combined cycle plant is no small task—it’s a significant undertaking. But yet again, Mitsubishi Power came through with a creative solution. Rather than the alternative of building an entirely new plant, an innovative upgrade will allow Termocandelaria to expand the capacity of the plant by 74 percent and improve efficiency by more than 35 percent.

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