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Energy reinforcements coming from Freeport as load shedding continues

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

AS he apologised on behalf of the government for Bahamas Power and Light's failure to offer uninterrupted service, Acting Prime Minister K Peter Turnquest revealed that generators from Grand Bahama are on the way to Nassau to assist with the continuing generation shortfall.

According to Mr Turnquest, a fire in May at BPL's Bimini facility that damaged two engines exacerbated challenges with the power provider.

When this happened, he said, two engines which were being utilised in the capital were sent to Bimini to assist with issues there. He said equipment is now being sent from Freeport to New Providence amid continuous load shedding and power cuts.

The East Grand Bahama MP's comments came as an island wide blackout struck the island around 11.45am. By 12.20pm, the first engine was brought back online, restoring power to some consumers. By 2pm, BPL reported that 85 percent of the network was up and running.

Initially, BPL said it would have taken three hours for the entire island to be reconnected. Despite this, people complained that they had no power well past 6 o'clock in the evening. The power provider did not say what led to the blackout, only that the matter was under investigation.

When he was contacted yesterday, BPL chairman Donovan Moxey would not say much, but insisted yesterday's incident was not connected to rolling power cuts which started two weekends ago. That situation prompted BPL to issue an apology over what it described as an anomaly.

Mr Turnquest said: "The good news is we do have a plan and an anticipated date when we will have a stable, reliable system.

"The unfortunate news is that between here and there, there will be some level of discomfort, but certainly BPL has a plan to try and minimise as much as possible those disruptions beginning with restoring the generation that has been lost as well as supplementing the rental generators that continue to be put online. Of course when you have fires in Bimini that sort of throws the plans off a little bit because two engines had to be taken from here and sent to Bimini to supplement what's happening there. There are another two generators I believe it is, that are coming out of Freeport to supplement what is here. Again they will be online as quickly as technically possible to get us over this hump while we wait for the final resolution, which we anticipate will be done in the early fall.

"This is not a situation that has occurred overnight and we've hit that critical phase now where we have to have significant intervention," Mr Turnquest also said.

"BPL has acquired several new generators that are going to help it solve the generation problem and at the same time beginning to address its distribution issue, which is equally a vexing problem. The fact of the matter is that our plant has been allowed to fall into some level of neglect.

"It is a very old plant and as a result we are finding that it's difficult to maintain, it's difficult to find parts and difficult to find people to operate it efficiently and again is a very manual plant and distribution system that is overworking the staff and not able to keep up with the demands."

He said the government understands the inconvenience that no amount of words will be able to ease or soothe.

"It's an unfortunate development that has happened as a result of years of accumulated problems that have come to a head and we recognise the inconvenience and we certainly want to express from the government side our regret that we have to go through this.

"The good news is there is light at the end of the tunnel and we expect to have the issues resolved as quickly as possible both in terms of the long term solution and the interim solution developing at the moment," Mr Turnquest said.

Comments

BahamasForBahamians 3 years, 5 months ago

What is the cost to The Bahamian people?

Are we foregoing taxes to Emera to pay for using their generators. Nothing is free. Give us the whole story Peter instead of trying to seem like superman.

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alfalfa 3 years, 5 months ago

He believes there are two generators coming from Freeport. Can't he at least take the effort to determine and say definitively that there ARE two generators coming from Freeport. They still have not properly explained why the rental units from Aggreko are not meeting the demand. Did anyone remember to add more power when they put Bahamar online. Kindergarten management.

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Bahamianbychoice 3 years, 5 months ago

The Minster should note the unprecedented fires over the last year at Clifton and Blue Hill here in Nassau are contributing combined with the fact that Management have pushed out all qualified staff. How ironic the Canadians that fired Heastie in Freeport are coming to help clean up his mess!! Now we all see why he was fired!! When will Heastie ..Rollins and this Board be replaced!!! Enough excuses!!! Bring back the qualified staff as this country is in crisis..all hands on deck!!!

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 4 months ago

BPL is the gift that keeps on giving to too many PEPs ........ It must remain as is.

No Minister will ever "successfully" fix this 800lb gorilla .......... too many "friends, families and lovers" depend on the sweet kickbacks

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The_Oracle 3 years, 4 months ago

Meanwhile GBPC/Emera have adopted the BPL "rolling blackouts" citing generation problems. Old #33 Kicked the bucket, so why the hell are they sending "units" to Nassau?

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Craig 3 years, 4 months ago

The electricity consumer in this country has been tolerating BPL's inemptitude for 40 plus years. Now they are trying to convince us that this new Wartsila power plant will solve problems that have been 40 years plus in the making, please. They are fooling themselves. These problems will take decades to fix and that's with a competent management team. Its high time that BPL is upfront with they problems they facing, and provide a plan to fix them.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 4 months ago

Our BPL problems really start with the imbeciles in government like Minnis, Bannister and Turnquest.

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proudloudandfnm 3 years, 4 months ago

So is this why our power has gone off twice in the last week??????????

To send our gennies to Nassau??????

Muddos.

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Craig 3 years, 4 months ago

BPL is so good at generating excuses it is exhausting. Now they blame the fire in their Bimini power plant, which of course is their fault. The bottom line is BPL does not properly maintain their equipment. They run these generators until the fail, basically run them into the ground and then they complain about old equipment being the fault. All one has to do is enter one of the power houses to get a sense of how they maintain their facilities and equipment. The Bimini disaster could have been avoided with proper maintenance. Bottom line these people dont know what they are doing and should be allowed around our expensive, critical national assets. 10-15 years from now someone from BPL will be giving same excuses as to why the Wartsila power plant is failing. Mark my words

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proudloudandfnm 3 years, 4 months ago

3 power outages in the last 10 days here in Freeport. Before they sent two of our gennies to Nassau I couldn't tell you the last time we had an outage....

Dumb ass government, now everyone has to suffer because you morons couldn't fix Nassau's issue??????

Idiots.....

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