BPL suffers another reported fire

Bahamas Power and Light Headquarters on Baillou Hill Road.

Parker: There was ‘smoke’, but no fire

 

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A reported fire at a Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) substation off Gladstone Road on Saturday left residents of the area without power for several hours.

“The Fire Services [Department] is actively investigating the cause of a fire which took place shortly after noon today at the Bahamas Power and Light substation located on Gladstone Road and Fire Trail Road,” Director of Fire Services Chief Superintendent Walter Evans said.

However, BPL’s Director of Public Relations Quincy Parker said yesterday that while there was smoke and “some sparks”, there was no fire.

He said, “While the fire department was called — there was smoke seen in the facility — there was no fire.

“There may have been some sparks, but no fire was seen at the facility.”

In an earlier statement yesterday afternoon, BPL said reports indicated that one of two transformers developed a fault, the power provider was able to reroute power.

It said all impacted customers were returned to the grid by 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

“Repairs are underway, but we reiterate that all customers served by the substation have had their power restored,” BPL said.

It advised customers experiencing any power related issues, including emergencies and outages to contact BPL on 323-5561.

Saturday’s incident comes as the public awaits authorities to release a report into three fires at BPL’s Clifton Pier Power Station last September.

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister was expected to table that report in the House of Assembly last week, but that did not happen.

Evans told Eyewitness News nearly two weeks ago that the report had been completed, though he did provide details on the investigation’s findings.

At the time, he said authorities planned to hold a press conference that week to advise the public.

A fire erupted at the Clifton Pier Power Station on September 7, causing damage to two critical BPL assets.

There were two subsequent fires at the site on September 9 and September 10.

Those fires, and subsequent loss of the DA-11 and DA-12 generators at Clifton, forced BPL to rely on its Blue Hills Power Station, which uses more expensive diesel fuel.

The power provider has attributed the use of the more expensive fuel and increase global oil prices in the last quarter of 2018 to the higher rates of fuel surcharge on consumers’ bills late last year.