Despite past assurances from Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) that two major assets at Blue Hills Power Station that were down would have both been restored by last week to reduce load shedding across New Providence, those assets have yet to return to service and BPL has no idea when they will be brought back online.
“New timelines for repair of units one and two are still unavailable,” the company revealed in a statement on Sunday. “Those timelines are dependent on specialist assessments that have yet to be conducted.”
According to its statement, on the first unit, specialists found major damage to the diesel engine. The company considered rebuilding it, but decided instead to replace it.
“On the advice of the specialists, the decision was made to replace the damaged diesel engine on unit one, rather than rebuild the damaged one,” BPL said.
It added, “The team must now source a replacement diesel engine for unit one. The engine that is being replaced had major internal damage, discovered after it was opened up.”
Referring to the second unit, the company said, “Today, the team was engaged in machining works on the component necessary to restart the engine and resume testing. Re-assembly of that component is expected to happen tomorrow. The expectation remains that following the replacement of this component, we can restart the engine and resume the assessment process.”
It added, “We are still waiting for the component to be placed that will allow us to start unit two. Once we get the unit started, the vibration specialist can assess why the unit is responding the way it is. It is due to the vibration concern that we were not able to run the unit up to full load after getting it started.”
Since June, BPL has been conducting frequent load shedding exercises on New Providence due to a generation shortfall.
The company has said that it cannot promise an end to the power outages until a new Wartsila plant at its Clifton Pier station is running, which is expected to happen by mid-December.