NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A new contract was signed between Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) Company and a Finnish technology group Wartsila, which will see the installation of a new multi-million-dollar power plant constructed at BPL’s Clifton Pier site.
Wartsila will install seven new high-efficiency engines; replacing four vintage engines which have been in operation at BPL since the 1980s.
By the end of summer 2019, BPL will have a new 132-megawatt engine power plant.
Its introduction will mean that BPL will soon be able to discontinue paying almost $2 million dollars monthly to rent power generators.
It also means that the company will be able to use heavy fuel oil, which is more cost effective.
Whitney Heastie, CEO of BPL, said consumers will eventually see the benefits on their electricity bills.
“When this project is completed customers will see a substantial improvement in power generation reliability in New Providence and a lower fuel charge on their monthly billing,” he said.
“The lower fuel charge will result from both, the use of more efficient generation, along with the ability to burn lower price fuel.”
The 132-megawatt plant is just the beginning, according to Heastie.
“So, the 132 megawatts are a complement of the 220 that’s committed by Shell. So there is still another 90 megawatts that has to be built and so that 90 megawatts will also be built at Clifton Pier,” he said.
The project will cost some $95 million.
Heastie confirmed that the majority of those funds came from capital project funding that has been placed on hold.
Edmund Phillips, Business Development Manager at Wartsila confirmed that the installation will be complete by the end of summer 2019.
“The engines will be shipped from Italy at the end of March. They will take about two months to get on the island and about four months to be installed,” he said.
“So, providing that there are no unforeseen events; we should meet the end of summer deadline.”
Phillip’s also confirmed that Wartsila will use local manpower, where applicable, to build the new power plant.
Heastie said he is confident in Shell’s selection of Wartsila to outfit the new power station.
“We are convinced that as a technology leader in the energy efficiency and energy solutions, and as an experienced engineering procurement construction contractor, Wartsila will meet our expectations for this project,” he said.