Shell North America and Bahamas Power and Light will have completed deals in a matter of weeks, Shell’s General Manager of Market Development Markus Hector told the media yesterday, adding that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had caused a delay in signing timelines.
He added that the liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility that Shell was hoping to have completed by the end of 2021, will now likely be completed some time in 2022.
Despite the setbacks, Hector said Shell is committed to its project in The Bahamas.
“I give you the assurance that Shell is working hard to progress the LNG-to-power project,” said Hector. We realize the importance of this piece of infrastructure to The Bahamas and New Providence. We are making very good progress to complete the commercial agreement, which we haven’t quite done yet. Our shared vision remains to build state-of-the-art LNG-to-power facilities that bring reliable, low-cost power.”
Hector said the agreement is that Shell will purchase the majority stake in Power Co. – which will include BPL’s stations A and D at its Clifton power station – and own the majority share of Terminal Co., the LNG terminal that will be built at Clifton Pier near BPL’s power plant.
He said new technology and the new LNG fuel will eventually mean lower electricity costs for consumers, though he could not say by how much those costs would decrease. BPL had hoped to have part of that deal with Shell done by March, but COVID-19 delayed that signing opportunity. However, Hector said a signed deal is only weeks away.
“We are really in the final touches and we are talking weeks, not months, to get to closure,” he said.
“We wanted to have the agreement executed already.”
According to Hector, Shell believes LNG will modernize the country’s power generation system and bring with it cleaner emissions.
Bahamians will have the opportunity to invest in the developed LNG and power plants. Hector could not say yesterday what that investment structure would look like, as those details are still being worked out.