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BCA trustee says lack of foundation causing Wartsila vibration problems

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DEBBIE DEAL

By YOURI KEMP

Tribune Business Reporter

ykemp@tribunemedia.net

The Bahamas Power & Light chief executive officer was right on inadequate facilities for Wartsila generators at the Clifton Pier station, a Bahamian Contractors Association (BCA) trustee has said.

Debbie Deal told Tribune Business that it was “common knowledge” the facilities at the Clifton Pier station were inadequate for the Wartsila generators purchased by the previous administration.

Ms Deal, responding to comments by BPL CEO Shavon Cambridge that former BPL officials “may have cut some corners” in getting the power company’s Station A plant at Clifton Pier online, added “when they ordered them, they never prepared a new foundation. The station was there for a long time and the vibration had already done a lot of damage to it. The generators that were coming in were much heavier”.

The vibration made by the Wartsila generators could often be felt a quarter mile from the Clifton Pier station. She said: “The chillers and the wells they had for the cooling were only six inches and they were supposed to be at least ten inches for these new engines. They didn’t upgrade that so there isn’t enough water to chill the engines.”

Mr Cambridge said ‘the use of a singular auxiliary system and the reuse of the old, already compromised borehole cooling system at the original Station A caused an appreciable decline in outputs from the engines”.

In addition, it is claimed the Clifton Pier Station A is only capable of running two engines at the time, despite having seven available. This is something that concerns Ms Deal as she said none of the engines were put on the proper rubber mounts that would stop the vibration that takes them offline and this is why BPL can run no more than two engines at a time.

Ms Deal said previous BPL officials spoke about the Wartsila engines being tri-fuel, because the Shell North America arrangement was supposed to kick in and add liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the energy mix, only to now find out that the Wartsila engines are only dual fuel.

Not only are the Wartsila engines not ready to run LNG, they are as problematic as the ones they were supposed to replace and as power cuts are continuing on a daily basis, not able to power the island of New Providence. She said: “From the entire time since the engines were ordered they were talking about them being tri-fuel as Shell has been waiting in the wings to do something here since 2017 when they were awarded the LNG plant. They kept talking about doing that, but I can’t imagine that they would have ordered engines and they could not run tri-fuel. Why would they order them and still not give them a proper foundation and a way to chill them?”

She also said: “I don’t mind calling a spade and spade, because at the end of the day we are the ones that suffer. When one of these engines burn up due to lack of water, we are the ones that are going to be left without power.”

Comments

Observer 11 months, 1 week ago

Ok, instead of only talking about the situation, let us execute the remedial work also. Problem solved.

ExposedU2C 11 months, 1 week ago

Warsila should be sued to fully solve the problem. But that won't happen because Warsila would threaten to reveal the government officials who were on the take for the extremely lucrative contract they received to supply the turbine generators.

observer2 11 months, 1 week ago

“they never prepared a new foundation”

Probably the only relevant statement.

DWW 11 months, 1 week ago

par for course same ol same ol. union something something something

Sickened 11 months, 1 week ago

What's the Bahamian saying... Good enough is good enough. It doesn't need to be perfect.

BONEFISH 11 months, 1 week ago

This botched installation of these Wartsila generators are a going to cost the Bahamian people.Same sh*t, different day.

Bonefishpete 11 months, 1 week ago

Who installed them? I thought Wartsila? Maybe they should've refused the installation.

M0J0 11 months, 1 week ago

lol as always honesty after the fact of the board signing and agreeing, no action slated for repair or fix. But yes we can all stand up and say this or that, yet no real plan or action, just talking so our names and pictures can be seen in the morning paper. Smells just like a stink fart and it doesn't have a smell.

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