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PM promises BPL solution in ‘next two weeks or so’

Bahamas Power and Light headquarters.

Bahamas Power and Light headquarters.

By JADE RUSSELL

Tribune Staff Reporter

jrussell@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis urged residents to be patient after Bahamas Power and Light’s (BPL) load-shedding exercises left thousands without electricity.

Mr Davis said a solution will be announced in about two weeks to introduce reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity to Bahamians.

BPL blamed load-shedding exercises over the weekend on the unusually high demand for this time of the year.

Mr Davis has said BPL could be divided into three separate entities, though details on this plan to separate the company’s generation, transmission, and distribution elements have not been disclosed by the administration.

“We just need to be patient within the next two weeks or so,” Mr Davis told reporters after a graduation ceremony for an Artificial Intelligence (AI) course yesterday. “We have been working assiduously over the last year, two years and a half to find a solution to the aging infrastructure of BPL. We should have a solution that we’ll be announcing within the next two weeks or so that no doubt will bring what every Bahamian wants at the end of the day, affordable electricity, reliable electricity, and of course, sustainable electricity.”

Mr Davis notes that a contributing factor to BPL’s power engines’ malfunction was that the engines overheated.

He linked the excess heat to the negative impact of climate change.

“The generators generate heat and when there’s heat around, it puts a lot of pressure on the engines and you do have malfunctions as we had the other day,” he said.

In a statement on Sunday, BPL said it is hoping to boost its generation capacity by June to meet summer demands.

“With load exceeding projections by 20MW, there remains a shortfall resulting in load shedding during peak hours in New Providence,” the company said in a statement. “BPL is presently working with its rental generation partners to return at least 10MW of power to the grid within the next 24 hours, and another 10MW should be available by the end of (this) week (May 25, 2024).

“Additionally, BPL is working to return three units that are offline due to scheduled maintenance by the end of the month. These units will add 59 MW to the current capacity.”

“The company maintains that load shedding remains a possibility if unforeseen incidents impact available capacity at its plants and if temperatures continue to hover over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, increasing demand. Nonetheless, BPL assures its customers that it uses all available resources to limit supply interruptions.”

Comments

Sickened 2 months ago

Thanks Brave for sharing in your discovery that generators generate heat. You know what though, I think the designers and manufacturers know that as well and have designed them with water or air cooling systems. So... chances are, when our generators overheated it was because the generate heat, it's because the systems or the environment they are in weren't properly maintained! CHECK THE OIL!!!!

K4C 2 months ago

Mr Davis said a solution will be announced in about two weeks to introduce reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity to Bahamians.

Holy Chicklets, I've listened to the same HORSERADISH since the 1960's

JackArawak 2 months ago

Pure comedy. Clowns inc

ExposedU2C 2 months ago

Mr Davis said a solution will be announced in about two weeks to introduce reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity to Bahamians.

Who among us does the very corrupt and stumpy Davis think he is kidding !!!

Mr Davis has said BPL could be divided into three separate entities, though details on this plan to separate the company’s generation, transmission, and distribution elements have not been disclosed by the administration.

This breaking up of BPL's three inter-dependent operating segments is a sure fire recipe for making the existing financial mess a monumental crippling disaster that will leave our country in darkness. Can you just imagine the feuding that will go on between the different owners of the generation, transmission and distribution segments as they each jockey and fight tooth and nail to pick clean the pockets of all electricity consumers while obtaining all sorts of investment subsidies for themselves from the leaders of this most corrupt PLP government ???!!!!

Mr Davis notes that a contributing factor to BPL’s power engines’ malfunction was that the engines overheated.

Here we have our most incompetent PM Davis saying with a straight face that the power engines need fans and air conditioning in order to function and avoid power outages. WELL MONKEY BE. WHAT ABOUT US PEOPLE WHO NEED FANS AND AIR CONDITIONING TO STAY ALIVE DURING THE SCORCHING SUMMER DAYS AND NIGHTS TO COME ????!!!! WHAT ABOUT THE MANY ELDERLY WHO WILL PERISH BECAUSE OF THE DEADLY SUMMER HEAT THAT LIES AHEAD????!!!!

Stumpy Davis has been PM or Deputy PM for many years under PLP governments Why hasn't he and his PLP cabinet ministers done anything for the Bahamian people? Was he too pre-occupied travelling abroad with his spouse to meaningless lavish events at the taxpayers' expense? Was he too busy picking out all of the fancy new features that his brand spanking new BMW is loaded with at cost of over $200,000+ to the taxpayers? Was he just tied up with too many backroom deals aimed at feathering the nests of himself and his cohorts, both local and foreign?

And now stumpy Davis just wants us to believe climate change has somehow caused all of the problems that have been developing at BPL/BEC when in fact gross mismanagement, waste, fraud, etc. that have occurred right under his nose are responsible for our country's energy nightmare with its knock-on effect on our GDP, NDP, national debt, etc. No Mr. PM. The Bahamian people are not nearly as stupid as you would like to believe.

stillwaters 2 months ago

Okay....guess it will be the 'or so' then

ThisIsOurs 2 months ago

"“We have been working assiduously over the last year, two years and a half to find a solution to the aging infrastructure of BPL."

I dont believe it.

"We should have a solution"

I dont believe it.

"that we’ll be announcing within the next two weeks or so that no doubt will bring what every Bahamian wants at the end of the day, affordable electricity, reliable electricity, and of course, sustainable electricity.”

I dont believe it.

As long as we have the party system we have, failing govt infrastructure will be used forever to hand overpriced contracts to cronies. Has the auditor general started the audit of technology contracts and equipment/computer purchases at the ministry of finance? Has he started the investigation into the 25m air cargo contract? Technology is the easiest fraud mechanism because techy words and phrases confuse the public, which is the goal.

"*contributing factor to BPL’s power engines’ malfunction was that the engines overheated.

"He linked the excess heat to the negative impact of climate change."

Respectfully, the PM often makes the most unbelievable statements in reference to climate change. Where's his data? Have engines overheated at any time in the last 50 years? What was the load on the entire system? What was the capacity of the generator(s) that overheated? What was the atmospheric temperature? Please give us something to show you're not just saying non-sense.

ThisIsOurs 2 months ago

"He linked the excess heat to the negative impact of climate change."

Brave Davis literally just says anything that pops in his mind

February 2020 Neil Hartnell -

Tribune Business can reveal that the state-owned utility’s scheme to cool the 132 mega watts of newly-installed generation capacity by digging four 800-foot deep wells at Clifton Pier is in danger of running aground because the area’s rock structures have proven far more difficult to penetrate than first thought.

BPL has so far managed to reach just over 50 percent of the target depth on two of the four wells and, with summer’s peak demand just three-and-a-half months away, it has ordered an alternative radiator system as a back-up in case the original strategy fails.

Several drill bits have already been broken in efforts to reach the required well depth, this newspaper has confirmed, with sources suggesting that only two of the seven Wartsila-supplied engines which comprise BPL’s new generation capacity are currently online and being used amid the wait for a cooling solution.

Tribune Business also understands that BPL management was advised against the well cooling solution by Wartsila, which urged the state-owned utility to instead purchase a closed radiator system, but executives decided to press ahead despite the supplier’s recommendation. The drilling woes, though, have finally forced them to alter course.

And, besides the challenges in penetrating the rock, this newspaper was also told that decades of oil spills and other BPL-related pollution at Clifton Pier means that the water pulled up by the wells to-date us unusable because it contains multiple forms of waste and harmful chemicals.

The situation is likely to both alarm and infuriate BPL’s long-suffering residential and business customers on New Providence, as it will raise fears of a repeat of summer 2019 when virtually all parts of the island were subject to daily load shedding and blackouts often lasting a minimum three hours due to the utility’s aged and poorly-maintained generation capacity being unable to meet demand.

Desmond Bannister, minister of works, confirmed the potential dilemma facing BPL when contacted by Tribune Business after this newspaper’s contacts alerted it to the situation at Clifton Pier. He admitted that “everything has to be in place” on the cooling system by May so that the new plant is fully operational in time to meet the peak summer electricity demand that kicks-in come June.

The minister, who has responsibility for BPL, said the state-owned utility monopoly was “fully confident” that a cooling solution will be place before summer 2020. He hinted, though, at differences over what that solution should be by saying he preferred the radiator solution to the wells that management was focused on...

ExposedU2C 2 months ago

Great research - thank you ThisIsOurs. And to think Stumpy Davis was acutely aware of all of this because at the time he was leader of the opposition in the house of assembly. Corrupt Davis is an utterly useless scoundrel and pathological liar. No right thinking Bahamian should ever believe a word coming from his lying lips.

ThisIsOurs 2 months ago

That's Niel Hartnells research I just tapped a few keys. I see the "new solution" is two new engines purchased by possibly Sun Oil/Focol.... Until they start failing too

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