Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Beckles said in a press statement yesterday that the chamber was pleased by the launch of Bahamas Power and Light’s (BPL) Station A at the Clifton Pier Power Station, though it remains “cautiously optimistic” about the immediate payoff. He added that he hopes the consistent electricity generation would positively affect businesses this holiday season.
Beckles called the completion of the 130-megawatt plant an “accomplishment” and hailed the project’s short turnaround period.
“This is a giant step toward helping BPL be more effective in the delivery of a consistent power supply for New Providence,” he said.
“The launch of the 130-megawatt facility is an impressive accomplishment given the detailed complexities involving the acquisition, logistics and installation that turned a multi-month project into a project delivered in a fraction of the time. We commend those involved and especially the hardworking men and women at BPL and Wartsila.”
Beckles said in his statement that the promise of Station A is the mitigation of the issues “that plagued the business community this past summer”.
BPL Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey noted during the official opening of the station that the new Wartsila engines will mean the end of summer load shedding.
What’s more, Beckles said, is the hope of Bahamians that the more fuel efficient tri-fuel engines, which will burn the less expensive, heavy fuel oil until liquid natural gas (LNG) is available, will mean a drop in the cost of energy.
“We are all aware that the cost of energy and its consistent delivery has had a negative impact on the ease of doing business here in The Bahamas and it would be great to see the costs trending downward sooner rather than later,” he said.
“With New Providence being the economic hub of the country, it is critical that this remains a priority for BPL and the country.
“The business community is hopeful that as we are now in the peak of our retail sales year, that this new installation will ensure some level of consistency in power delivery so we can effectively yield this shopping season.”
Beckles added that while the BCCEC is happy with BPL’s current progress, it continues to be concerned about the environmental effects of continuing to burn fossil fuels to produce electricity.
“The business community is hopeful that BPL will continue its efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels and embrace renewables as its new standard for energy production going forward, especially given our commitment to meet our target of 30 percent renewables by 2030,” he said.