In 2004, when Grupo Puntacana needed to ensure a reliable power supply to the newly developed area, they turned to Wärtsilä for help. Wärtsilä provided an engine cogeneration power plant and took over responsibility for operation and maintenance (O&M). In the years since, Wärtsilä has maintained 99.6-99.9% engine reliability while also installing two more engines and continually deepening the partnership to meet Grupo Puntacana’s changing needs.
Grupo Puntacana’s assets include the Punta Cana International Airport, which receives around eight million visitors annually from 100 cities around the world and connects 28 countries, making it one of the most accessible destinations in the Caribbean. Their resort covers 26 square miles and includes luxury hotels such as the Four Points by Sheraton Puntacana Village, the Westin Puntacana Resort & Club and Tortuga Bay, the latter being the only hotel in the Dominican Republic to receive the Five Diamond rating from the American Automobile Association (AAA).
The company is also distinguished by having the only Six Senses Spa in the Caribbean, the Oscar de la Renta Tennis Center, the Grupo Puntacana Foundation, eight residential communities, more than 14 restaurants and bars, Galerias Puntacana and BlueMall Puntacana shopping centres and world class golf courses offering a total of 45 holes. Grupo Puntacana’s operations are ISO certified and must take into account environmental and social requirements.
Grupo Puntacana and Wärtsilä entered into a partnership for an operation and maintenance solution where they work towards shared productivity and profitability goals. The aim is to maximise the productive lifetime of the power plant and the return on investment. The solution is tailored to Grupo Puntacana’s unique needs and includes performance and lifecycle cost guarantees – originally covering just availability, but now additionally including heat rate and response time in case of disruption. Wärtsilä needs to ensure a competitive price for power produced at the plant, as the customer also purchases energy from a local utility.
Continually meeting the customer’s needs
Grupo Puntacana and Wärtsilä’s partnership has been ongoing for 15 years now. As the customer’s needs have evolved, including receiving ISO quality certification and strengthening environmental and safety standards, the O&M agreement has also been regularly amended – ensuring that Wärtsilä can serve Grupo Puntacana to the highest standard.
Wärtsilä and Grupo Puntacana personnel work closely on a regular basis to ensure that all needs are communicated, understood and solved in the best way possible, including yearly audits. In addition to O&M, Wärtsilä has undertaken several improvements, including extending the power plant with two additional engines and optimising the engines for different fuels to improve efficiency. This long-term cooperation is set to continue, with a gas conversion being proposed as part of a larger trend to move from using oil to natural gas.
Antonio Martorell, Director of Water and Energy at Grupo Puntacana, said: "Having the partnership with Wärtsilä to fulfil our energy needs for the past 15 years has been an exceptional experience, because we know that we’ll always receive a reliable power supply backed by outstanding service. This allows us to focus on providing the best possible facilities for our customers with the reassurance that this important aspect is being taken care of to a high standard".