U.S. team arrives to help BPL

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced last night that a six-man team of specialists from U.S.-based company Philadelphia Gear are on the island attempting to restore a 20-megawatt engine at Bahamas Power and Light (BPL).

In a statement, Minnis vowed to do whatever it takes to alleviate the “unacceptable” load shedding taking place across New Providence.

He said BPL officials met with Cabinet on Tuesday.

“In the short-term, BPL is currently carrying out a plan to mitigate its shortfall in generation,” the prime minister said.

“It is expected to provide relief to residents as soon as possible.

“This includes an additional nine megawatts of power from Aggreko whose units are expected to be returned to service.

“Further, a six-man team of specialists from Philadelphia Gear is here on New Providence.

“The team has started working with the intention of returning an additional 20-megawatts of power to service at the Blue Hills Power Station.”

BPL officials said last night that the 20-megawatt engine, which was expected to return online last night, experienced problems when the team attempted to restart it.

This is the first time Minnis has publicly addressed the ongoing power crisis on the island.

“On Tuesday, the Cabinet met with executives and board members of Bahamas Power and Light to discuss the unacceptable state of power generation on New Providence,” he said.

“Over the last several months, BPL has had to engage in prolonged periods of load shedding, due to a decaying generation fleet that has presented challenges to power generation in New Providence for decades.

“I am deeply unhappy that our families are suffering. I fully understand that Bahamians and residents want clear and immediate action.

“I want to assure you that the government is committed to doing whatever is necessary to alleviate this problem, including further additional measures.

“The frustration and inconvenience experienced by Bahamians and residents, in homes and in businesses throughout New Providence, is simply unacceptable.

“We are doing all we can to fix this problem long-term, and to ensure that Bahamians and residents receive the consistent power supply that they deserve.”

Minnis noted that work has already begun on a 132-megawatt power plant at the Clifton Pier Power Station, which is being built by Finnish technology group Wartsila.

BPL is experiencing a generation shortfall of 40 megawatts.

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Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the assistant editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to assistant news editor in December 2018. Education: College of The Bahamas, English

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