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BPL says load shedding to end by mid-December

Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) Executive Director Patrick Rollins said yesterday New Providence residents can expect load shedding to end by December 15.

The power company has been carrying out frequent load shedding exercises for about five months.

Last week, Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said the government approved the purchase of a new 35-megawatt general electric engine to meet the high power demand at BPL.

Yesterday, Rollins told reporters at BPL’s Clifton Pier Power Station, “…We hope that before that engine gets here that load shedding will be done.”

However, Rollins was unable to say when the new engine is expected to arrive in The Bahamas.

“I don’t have a date on that as yet,” he said.

“This is a deal that’s just in progress and I don’t have a date.”

He noted that it should arrive before December 15.

BPL announced in March that Finnish technology group Wartsila will install a new 132-megawatt engine power plant at Clifton at a cost of $95 million to increase the generation capacity on New Providence.

The project is expected to be completed by December 15, 2019, according to Edmund Phillips, a business development specialist for Wartsila.

When asked yesterday if the project was still on track, Rollins said, “We’re still on for December, yes. We should start doing the final testing in the middle of October and then a month later they’re coming on stream.”

He said the power company has not experienced any challenges with the installation of the engines.

Rollins said four of the seven engines are already installed.

Officials have said that BPL spends roughly $2 million on rental units from Aggreko.

According to Rollins, the board will make a decision “shortly” on how it will go about phasing out the rental units.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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