Moxey: BPL cooling wells issues within anticipated timeframe

Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) released a statement on Wednesday evening contending that despite the challenges it met in drilling its cooling wells, the timeline for their completion are still within the schedule.

It was reported earlier this week that the rock structure BPL is drilling into became a challenge that could delay the efficient running of the seven new engines at its Clifton Pier Power Station, because those wells will be used to cool the engines.

But BPL Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey said in the statement that the delays in the wells fit within the companies timelines and do not affect generation.

“In no way did the issues dealing with the cooling wells affect our generation supply,” said Moxey.

“The delays drilling the cooling wells are well within our anticipated timeframe and we expect to have a full supply of water to run the plant by the end of March, well ahead of our internal timeline.”

The statement added: “That schedule called for the completion of the cooling wells – an

important part of the station’s continuing operation – by the end of March. This will enable us to bring all the engines in Station A online at the same time in late April, as originally projected.

“As we have reported, BPL brought the seven new Wӓrtsilӓ 50DF engines powering Station A online in banks of two in order to space out the maintenance cycles. In this way, we prevent having to remove all seven assets from the grid at the same time for a weeks-long overhaul process. There was never an intention to bring all seven engines onto the grid at the same time prior to our April timeline.”

BPL Chief Executive Officer Whitney Heastie explained that as a backup plan the cooling systems for Station C are being tied in to Station A “in an effort to mitigate delay”.

The statement said that while some of the wells are taking longer to complete, the problems associated with the delays are being fixed.

“It is a fact that some of the wells are taking longer to complete than anticipated,” the statement noted.

“This is due to the fact that the rock into which we are digging is harder than expected. In fact, two drill bits broke during early drilling efforts. We have taken this as a matter of urgency, however, and have brought in new drilling equipment better suited to the job at hand and we are now making progress.”

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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