BPL to begin grid testing for new Wӓrtsilӓ engines

BPL to begin grid testing for new Wӓrtsilӓ engines

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The first of the new Wӓrtsilӓ tri-fuel engines at the Clifton Pier Power Station was started this weekend as the commissioning process gets underway.

During his communication in Parliament on Wednesday, Minister of Public Works Desmond Banister revealed that $70 million of the proceeds from the rate reduction bond will fund the expansion of the Wӓrtsilӓ plant at the Clifton Pier Power Station.

Bannister noted that it is anticipated that the funds raised by the bonds will be used to refinance BPL’s debt of $321 million; to pay for the desperately needed Wӓrtsilӓ Phase II power plant; for conversion of fuel to lower cost LNG; for capital upgrades at BPL; for family island solar projects; and for the implementation of an advanced metering system, among other projects.

In a statement yesterday, BPL Executive Director Patrick Rollins confirmed the engines will be tested on the grid this week, ahead of them coming online on December 15.

“The team started dismantling the four old diesel engines in that hall less than 13 months ago, and now seven new engines are running in that same hall,” Rollins said.

“No small feat. This clearly demonstrates what we as BPL and Bahamians, along with our partners, can achieve.”

The company released a new video highlighting the progress that has been made at Station A yesterday.

The new station is expected to provide 130 megawatts of “cleaner, greener, more efficient and less costly power”.

“The leadership and staff at BPL are focused one hundred percent focused on righting the ship,” said BPL Chairman Dr Donovan Moxey.

“The new Station A, and the seven Wärtsilä engines housed there, are the critical piece we need to overcome the years of neglect in BPL’s generation fleet.

The 130 megawatts of power that these engines will generate will allow us to take other units offline to be repaired without impacting the electricity supply.”

Moxey said: “In addition, the new Wärtsilä engines are state-of-the-art, low-emission, and high-efficiency.

“They will help us provide consistent, reliable power that is cleaner and costs less as fuel savings expand. Most importantly, for consumers here on New Providence, this new power plant will help ensure that load shedding becomes a thing of the past.”

“The problems at BPL have been years in the making and we can’t fix them overnight,” Moxey added.

“This video shows some of the real progress we are making to right the ship at BPL and provide reliable, cleaner electricity that costs less for the Bahamas.”