Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) does not expect any load shedding this summer, BPL Chairman Donovan Moxey claimed yesterday.
BPL conducted a number of load shedding exercises last year after several fires caused significant damage at the company’s Clifton Pier Power Plant last September.
It has also carried out load shedding in recent weeks.
The power company has historically struggled to keep up with an increased demand for electricity on New Providence during summer months.
“We don’t expect any load shedding,” Moxey said.
He added, “There are several generation assets that we’re looking to make sure that we maintain properly [and] appropriately so that we will be ready for the summer.
“We are also looking at bringing in some additional rental generation to cover the needs in the summer.
“So from our perspective, we’re doing everything that we can in order to prepare for the load that we’re required to deliver during the summer months.”
He also spoke on the impact the power company’s recent deal with Finnish technology group Wartsila will have on power generation, noting that the new plant will not be usable until the end of summer.
“The insurance company actually still has possession of Station C, and so one of the things you would have seen several weeks ago, BPL announced the creation of a 130-megawatt power plant, and that particular project is moving forward relatively quickly and we’re still looking at the end of summer in order to have that new 130-megawatt power plant available to us,” Moxey said.
BPL’s announcement of the Wartsila deal was met with controversy.
Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) President Paul Maynard said he feared that Bahamians would be treated as “second class citizens” during the installation process, and spoke out against the possibility of foreigners being brought in to install the new equipment.
Moxey yesterday addressed those concerns, and said BPL was working with the union on the matter.
“…One of the things that we’ll be meeting and talking about at our next board meeting next week has to do with the training programs that we’re putting in place, and so from our perspective, a part of what our strategic plan is, is to make sure that we build capacity, workforce capacity at BPL, and that involves training, and so our perspective is we will train those employees,” he said.
“We will put in certifications, and as we’ve said to employees as a board, we’re challenging everybody to step up to the plate and build new skills so that they can deliver high quality service to the Bahamian people.”