Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) did not bring in more rental generators to make up for its production shortfall this year because it could not afford the extra cost, BPL’s Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey said on Friday.
Moxey, who was speaking to the members of the Rotary Club of East Nassau at their regular meeting, said the suggestion of simply bringing in more rental generation has been thrown about continually, but he explained that because of the company’s continued shortfall in cash, BPL simply could not pay for more than the 25 megawatts of rental power it brought in.
The company has suffered recently from a 40 megawatt shortfall in power because of aging engines that have been failing this summer.
Moxey said the aging engines, coupled with the inability to find spare parts for those engines, has been the reason for the widespread load shedding New Providence residents have been experiencing.
“BPL doesn’t have any money to pay for more rental generators,” he said.
Moxey said less than 40 percent of BPL’s customers pay their bills on time and the power company is owed more than $123 million by its customers.
Moxey added that BPL pays Shell North America $30 million per month in fuel costs that cannot be deferred.
While Bahamians are feeling the pain of BPL’s aging fleet of engines, the company is finishing work on the
installation of 123 megawatts of power that will be produced by seven brand new Wartsila engines that will eventually burn liquefied natural gas, a cleaner fuel than Diesel or Bunker C.
In terms of the power outages, Moxey said BPL has done “the best we could with the resources available to us”.
“We were given a job and we’re going to fix this,” he said.