BPL engine could be down for weeks

It is unclear when a 20-megawatt generator at the Blue Hills Power Plant that was supposed to be returned online Wednesday night will return to service.

Asked whether Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) knows how long the engine will be out, BPL Director of Public Relations Quincy Parker said yesterday, “No. The team is working on it.”

When contacted yesterday Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) President Paul Maynard said that it could be up to 21 days before that engine is returned to service.

“They’re trying to see what the problem is,” Maynard said.

“The engine that starts the turbine, the piston rod blew out on it.”

Parker had told The Nassau Guardian on Wednesday, following inquiries, that a 20-megawatt GT10 machine at Blue Hills Power Station was expected to be returned to service that night.

However, hours later, Parker said, “That engine that was supposed to be returned to service will not be available.

“There were problems during the attempt to restart the engine. They will be working on it tonight to try, but it is unlikely to return to service tonight.”

He added, “So to be clear, the engine that we had hoped to return to service tonight looks unlikely to come online tonight, and the other engine still requires a few days before it can come back to service.”

He was referring to engine GT7, which produces 23 megawatts. He said that engine is tentatively scheduled to return to service by the end of next week.

The news comes after BPL CEO Whitney Heastie said that BPL is experiencing a generation shortfall of 40 megawatts.

For nearly two months, communities on New Providence have been rocked with hours-long periods of blackouts as part of BPL’s load shedding exercise.

Heastie said on Sunday that the company cannot guarantee when the outages will end.

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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