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‘Most of BPL Plant obsolete in 5 years’

Attorney General Ryan Pinder.

Attorney General Ryan Pinder.

Over 72 percent of all generators will need replacing, says Pinder

By KEILE CAMPBELL

kcampbell@tribunemedia.net

ATTORNEY General Ryan Pinder said 60 per cent of Bahamas Power & Light’s plant in New Providence and 80 per cent of its plants in Family Islands must be replaced in the next five years as engines reach the end of their useful life, a transformation that will cost almost $300m.

He said officials anticipate a year-by-year growth of five percent in energy demand and that BPL must replace 113MW of rental generation and 203MW of “aged or obsolete generators in their fleet”.

His comments came before senators passed the Electricity Bill and Natural Gas Bill yesterday, paving the way for the Davis administration’s plans to reform BPM.

Mr Pinder painted a picture of a utility company in dire straits.

He said over 72 percent of the peak load generation that BPL owns needs replacement.

He said the company will need $211m to replace its aging equipment in New Providence.

He said 100 MW of new generation is needed in the Family Islands to account for replacing 32 MW of rental generation.

The company reportedly needs $80m for new generation in the Family Islands.

“That is an immediate need of almost $300m just to replace current generation, which is also insignificant to meet the current demand loads plus our contingencies,” he said.

“So we don’t even have what we need, yet what we have, we have to replace to the tune of $300m. Those are the facts.”

He said there is a 64.4MW energy generation shortfall which will increase to 130MW in five years if nothing is done to address it.

He called the situation an “unfortunate reality”, adding that the country needs “a new paradigm for the generation supply in this country”.

His comments come as BPL employees brace for details about the administration’s reform plans, which reportedly involve separating the transmission, generation and distribution parts of BPL with the aid of strategic partners.

Mr Pinder said the new electricity bill introduces several provisions that facilitate cleaner energy, enhanced competition, and the regulation of artificial intelligence.

He said the bills create a regulatory framework for LNG use.

“Currently, LNG fuel is imported as fuel for electricity generation in private developments,” he said. “They have powerplants powered by LNG fuel without regulation bringing it into the country, without regulation of safety and handling the fuel, without regulation if it has to be blended, if it comes in an iso tank, and without regulation on how it is ultimately pumped into the generation unit.”

He said the government wants to produce 27MW of solar energy throughout the Family Islands and at least 60 to 100MW of solar energy in New Providence, which will be the first time solar energy and renewables will be used through BPL.

He said a request for proposal (RFP) that was sent out for energy-producing companies to collaborate with The Bahamas for renewable energy has closed and the review committee is working through the responses to the RFP.

He said the new injection of at least 60 to 100MW of solar energy will come at no capital cost to BPL.

Comments

K4C 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Mr. Pinder said the new electricity bill introduces several provisions that facilitate cleaner energy, enhanced competition, and the regulation of artificial intelligence.

In Bahamian, Mr. Pinder spoke in word salad

If Bahamians think energy is expensive today, just wait till you have to depend on clean energy

ExposedU2C 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Sadly, few Bahamians took the time to read and digest these new legislative bills. Had they done so they would have known and spoke out against the dire consequences to come from their passage.

The consequences of this new legislation will be nothing short of horrific for most consumers of electricity and are sure to have a serious adverse impact on our economy and ever ballooning unsustainable national debt for decades to come.

This new legislation paves the way for mega graft by King Grifter Davis on a scale never seen before. Much of what is proposed will cripple our country's ability to provide affordable electricity to the vast majority of the Bahamian people and their businesses.

And one can only begin to imagine the heavily padded contracts that this seriously flawed new legislation will give birth to, not to mention the accompanying stifling regulation that will be aimed at deciding who will get how much electricity and at what price.

Also, notice how King Grifter Davis once again hides behind his dumbo AG Pinder as he puts all Bahamians on notice at the start of this summer that we should expect outrageously high electricity bills and frequent power outages.

Make no mistake about it; the leadership of this ChiCom controlled PLP government could not care any less about the Bahamian people as they go about feathering their own nests and lining the pockets of their favoured cronies.

Sickened 2 months, 2 weeks ago

We are soooo screwed as a country. 50 years of government corruption and outright theft has left us with a country on its knees.

John 2 months, 2 weeks ago

MISMANAGEMENT, POOR MANAGEMENT, NO MANAGEMENT, GREED and CORRUPTION! And you can’t enter the first world operating the country’s power company like a bush mechanic shop. Firstly is the minister saying the Wartsilla engines purchased under the Minnis administration will also be obsolete in five years. Well everyone knows those engines were modified to run of bunker C fuel for which they were not really designed and also the cooling systems on those engines were also modified to use salt water rather than drawing water from deep water high pressure wells. Not only were the efficiency of those engines compromised but the west and tear operating them in this fashion also reduced their lifespan . . Engines are probably the most expensive outlay in capital expense BPL incurs. So let’s say BPL had six engines and the life expectancy of each engine is 20 years. BPL must then put in place a plan where all the engines do not reach the end of their lifespan all at the same time. With six engines BPL can devise a plan where two engines are replaced in five years, then another in five years then another two the following five years. Or it can make a plan of changing out three engines at a time depending on funds available. The key is not to have all the engines coming if she at the same time and not only eventually needing to be replaced at the same time but also in the high maintenance category ( oldd age) and unreliable. And there is simply, not too costly measures that can make practically every Family Island 70 to 80 percent operational without mechanical power generation

TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This is especially so un-ministerial to wear wrong trousers to the Bahamas Electricity Corporation. --- Yes?

ExposedU2C 2 months, 1 week ago

I would encourage all persons deeply concerned about the disastrous consequences to flow from the new Electricity and Natural Gas Bills to read Claude Hanna's excellent letter to the Editor of The Tribune that was published in a late April.

The letter concisely addresses the unconstitutional, national security and many other most serious issues that these two new statutes will expose and subject our nation and its people to. The dire consequences Bahamians will experience from the enactment of these two bills should deservedly be fully owned and worn around the neck of every current sitting PLP member of parliament and all future candidates for a PLP seat in parliament.

Opposition leader Pintard and the entire leadership apparatus of the FNM party should be taking immediate appropriate steps to publicly announce their intent to fully repeal these two new frightening statutes for constitutional and national security reasons as one of their first acts if successful in winning a controlling majority of parliamentary seats in the next general election.

No private investor supportive of the passage of these egregious statutes for self-gain at great cost to the Bahamian people should be allowed to reap and enjoy the huge windfall profits they so eagerly await to receive while leaving the Bahamian taxpayers on the hook for most if not all of BPL's debts amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. Pintard needs to get off of his duff and make this unequivocally known to all concerned, especially Bahamian voters.

I smell both a PM and AG only too willing to let the Bahamian people be bitten by a most poisonous Snake among the other greedy financially interested local scoundrels and their foreign partners now lying in wait.

Sickened 2 months, 1 week ago

Don't slunk on the PLP. They are practiced mafiosos! Any agreement and documentation will have an attractive penalty that will benefit them personally. This will not be the first time the PLP will have set up the FNM for grand embarrassment if they choose to try and reverse anything they do. Criminals at this level of play think many steps ahead. The FNM continue to be geeks who are ignorant about how bad and devious evil people can be.

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