AFTER a summer plagued with blackouts, Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) officials stressed yesterday the rental generators imported from overseas will be in place by the end of this week, hopefully bringing an end to frequent power outages in New Providence.
BPL officials led the media on a tour of the site yesterday where the rental units are being installed.
BPL Corporate Communications Manager Arnette Ingraham explained why it took the company awhile to have the units installed.
“It was a long-term process . . . the site was bushes just about 45 days ago,” she told reporters. “It had to be cleared, it had to be prepared, we had to get the engines here, we had to get them installed, all the cabling and all the fuel lines. And that is a lot of intensive work, we had to make sure that it was done safely.
“We expect by the end of the week all 40 of those units will be up and running here at our Blue Hills Power Station. The good thing for us is that this, along with the existing 40 megawatts of Aggreko units that we’ve had for some time and with our existing fleet, we hope that this will alleviate some of the outages that our customers in New Providence have been experiencing for some time.”
Mrs Ingraham did not reveal how much BPL paid for the rental equipment.
“We want to be competitive so we don’t want to reveal what somebody would have charged us for the units that we have,” she said yesterday.
Last week, nearly one month after the first set of rental generators secured for BPL arrived in the country, Bahamas Electrical Workers Union President Paul Maynard told The Tribune that the site for the engines has not been prepared.
In July, Prime Minister Perry Christie admitted that the management of BPL failed to adequately anticipate the challenge of generating electricity during the summer months and prepare for it.
“The difficulty is that I thought we had anticipated, that is the management of BEC and the management going forward, that we were going to have a bad summer and I knew that we had to have at least 40 megawatts in addition to what we have now - they were ordered late,” Mr Christie said at the time.
“The fact is (that the management is) anticipating relief by a certain date that they can give. And the relief would be where you add to the capacity as it exists now; the 40 megawatts that they say should be able to balance out the challenges that we have.”