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Bpl Apologises For Blackouts And Admits: Not Good Enough

BPL chairman Donovan Moxey.

BPL chairman Donovan Moxey.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS Power and Light chairman Donovan Moxey has blamed this month’s adverse weather conditions for the power provider’s inability to receive rental generators earlier, which rendered it unable to fulfil electricity demands over the weekend when two of its units went offline.

Although this was an “anomaly”, according to Mr Moxey, he apologised for the “unacceptable” widespread load shedding, which grossly inconvenienced thousands of customers.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, the chairman explained that BPL took measures to avoid a situation like the one encountered at the weekend. He said the company did anticipate elevated summer demand and had planned to have rental generators in place by June 18. However rainy weather created a delay in their delivery.

As a result, BPL now anticipates that the rental Aggreko units will be fully installed by tomorrow and Friday of this week at a cost of just under $2m a month. As for when the situation is expected to get better, Mr Moxey said realistically not until fall 2019 when the new power plant is expected to be fully functional. Officials said load shedding would continue this week in three to four hour intervals.

Despite this, BPL has no plans to relax disconnections and the company continued yesterday to urge consumers to pay their bills or work out payment plans.

“We don’t ever go into a year of planning saying we will have load shedding. We will never attempt that because our hope and push on this is on positive,” Mr Moxey said during a press conference at BPL’s Baillou Hill Road headquarters yesterday.

“So what we did earlier this year is, we looked at our maintenance schedule and we did the best job that we can given the assets available to conduct the maintenance.

“Another thing that we did in anticipation of the summer is recognise that we needed additional rental generation so we then went through an appropriate RFP process. We engaged the winner of that process, which was Aggreko, to put in the rental generation for this summer.”

He continued: “Ideally we wanted that to be available for us by June 18. There was significant rain that hampered the civil works and so that’s why we are delayed. The intention was to have those online by last week and that didn’t happen for us and so again we want to as a power company make sure the power is on 24/7.

“Load shedding activities especially in an island configuration are things that you have to recognise they will happen so we do our best to plan for them, but our intention is to have the power on 24/7, 365 for our customers at all times and when we do run into issues where load shedding is required, we do that in order to protect the network so that we can restore power to full capacity if we can.

“We have brought in an additional 25 megawatts of rental generation - that’s on top of the 90 megawatts of rental generation that we had in place prior to that.”

Asked about the cost of these rentals, Mr Moxey said it was “significant”.

BPL Public Relations Director Quincy Parker later told reporters rentals for 90 megawatts costs $1.37m per month and the additional 25 megawatts carry a price tag of $475,000 per month. However the threat of load shedding will continue all week and into the fall season when BPL’s new power plant is installed.

Mr Moxey also said: “These rental generation assets will relieve the pressure on our system immediately and together with machines that are being prepared and brought back into service, will give us some breathing room as far as the load is concerned.

“It must be said, however, that even with these generators the possibility of load shedding remains until we have completed the new 132- megawatt power plant under construction in station A at the Clifton Pier power station.”

BPL’s Chief Operating Officer Ian Pratt explained the rationale behind BPL’s need to load shed.

He said as far as was possible, there was an attempt to evenly distribute the activity across areas. 

“Last week, however, additional units at the Blue Hills plant developed problems which resulted in them coming offline and setting up the present generation shortfall. Over the weekend, one unit at Clifton Pier also tripped offline due to a mechanical defect. This was repaired and that unit has been returned to service.

“Two units at the Blue Hills power station tripped offline. One of those fed into our steam turbine which takes the heat energy from the exhaust system of one of those generators to produce power.”

He said when that engine went offline the steam turbine did the same resulting in the situation being exacerbated. 

“Work also continues at Blue Hills in order to turn the two units that were impacted over the weekend to full output capacity. Both of those units are already back online, but there are some additional work to be done in order to get them up to full power. Further, once those machines are back up to full power, we will be able to then restore it to power service our steam turbine units given us additional capacity,” Mr Pratt said.

Comments

bahamianson 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Anomaly- something that deviates from what is normal or expected. Every year for the past 50 years, we have experienced load-shedding. To be decent, what are you talking about? Where are you from? Are you Bahamian? Obviously, you haven't lived here for a while because you would have experienced and know that this happens every summer.Well Mr. Chairman, whose idea was it to do this exercise in the summer months as opposed to the winter and fall months? That is the question. simple planning would have made this easier to deal with.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 3 weeks ago

This incompetent idiot Moxey is Chairman of BPL, a power company that is vulnerable to all kinds of weather conditions, and he doesn't even know that June is normally one of our wettest months of the year.

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joeblow 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Most people know when summer is coming and that summers in the Bahamas are very hot, but they could not plan a window within which delivery of the generators could be made without inconveniencing customers?

So to summarize, he is saying that they are incompetent, but they are sorry about being predictably incompetent!!

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lobsta 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Management might be incompetent, but it's kind of odd that the union chief knows there will be rolling blackouts until Christmas. I wonder why?

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Craig 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Lets face it, these people are incompetent, from the Chairman and CEO all the way down. The only thing they are good at generating is excuses, it certainly isn't electrical power. Now they are blaming the weather, please. And whats even more hilarious are the new words and phrases they have introduced to their press release lexicon, "anomaly" and "generating assets". Adding fancy words and phrases to press releases doesn't change the fact that the entire management team at BPL are simply out of their depth.

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DDK 1 month, 3 weeks ago

These are a lot of incompetent crooks, put in place by one incompetent, corrupt government after the other, duly elected again and again by The People. The situation will not change until the management of the country is put into competent, non-corrupt hands. Are such hands in existence in The Bahamas? If they exist are they up to the challenge and are they electable or are all potential candidates and those placed in positions of governmental authority ANOMALIES?? That is the million dollar question.

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TalRussell 1 month, 3 weeks ago

At some point must change wasteful habits comrade BPL customers by levying substantial surcharge BPL customers grown accustomed to modern conveniences power-sucking electricity-draining luxuries likes air conditioning, electric stoves, large-sised fridges and deep freezers, water heaters and heat house heaters and even toasters, yes, no...................

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Clamshell 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Toasters, AC, hot water, stoves, and fridges are “modern” conveniences? Only if you’re 85 years old.

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TalRussell 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Ma comrade Clamshell, not as crazy sounds considering how life has changed we once crime free Out Islanders ways of life have given way waste, greed and lusty fornication, yes, no.......

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Clamshell 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Fornication is not exactly a “modern convenience” either, Tal.

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The_Oracle 1 month, 3 weeks ago

You can BS everything except reality. These guys actually believe their own spiel and that is dangerous. Everything is reaction, no planning, no impetus to think ahead, total subservience to the political flavor/master of the day, no regard for the customer. And at the same time preventing people doing something for themselves via Solar. Where is URCA the Regulator? is this acceptable or are they also acquiescing to the political Master of the day? Silence............

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 3 weeks ago

You can just see INCOMPETENT IDIOT stamped right across his forehead!

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banker 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Moxey is an electrical engineer. But all that he has ever done is write software for mobile apps. He sprang to light after a speech in front of the government zombies at the 2017 Grand Bahama Tech conference. He screwed up the planning of making Grand Bahama a tech hub (he led the committee) and bailed for a cash-for-life job at BPL.

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Craig 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Its clear that he sold a bill of goods to the powers that be and they bought it hook line and sinker, cause after all who in the current Gov cabinet, or any cabinet or the board or any board have the slightest idea of what is best for a power company let alone selection of its leader? The gov of the Bahamas has no place in the electricity generation business. How long will it take for the sucessive line of egotistical politicians learn that

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Someone else did the writing I think. He talked

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johnmcntsh 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I will never understand why the Government is so against solar energy. It takes 5 months to get a permit and in the U.S. 5 days? I just do not get it.

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Bonefishpete 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Leslie Miller do you miss me yet?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 3 weeks ago

The Lady Smacker is much too busy taking care of his 150 acre marijuana plantation in Andros to miss you. He's got weed that's now over 8 feet tall and wants to be on the ground floor when our looney tune FNM government turns our country into a sanctuary for out-of-control pot heads.

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banker 1 month, 3 weeks ago

You forgot Toilet-Repossessor as one of his titles.

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sheeprunner12 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Moxey is an electrical engineer. But all that he has ever done is write software for mobile apps. He sprang to light after a speech in front of the government zombies at the 2017 Grand Bahama Tech conference. He screwed up the planning of making Grand Bahama a tech hub (he led the committee) and bailed for a cash-for-life job at BPL.

That is a telling statement ........... He is not fit to run an electrical company just because he is an electrical engineer .......... There must be more to our vetting of these SOE bosses.

It is like Americans judging Trump to be a great "businessman" as the criteria to be President ....... SMT

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sheeprunner12 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Who ever hired Moxey as CEO of BPL ............... should be fired.

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sheeprunner12 1 month, 3 weeks ago

When are Nassau people going to march against BPL, Moxey and Bannister??????????

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