Monday, April 22, 2024

Light and Power increasing generating capacity


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The Barbados Light & Power Company yesterday agreed to urgently add another 15 megawatts of generating capacity to its electricity grid, part of the process of guaranteeing its capacity after two consecutive days of power outages last week.

This was confirmed this evening when the top brass of BL&P met with Prime Minister Mia Mottley and some members of her Cabinet at Parliament, along with officials of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), Barbados National Oil Company (BNOC), the Fair Trading Commission and advisors.

The BL&P committed to completing all matters related to the procurement of this additional generating equipment over the next 48 hours, and to having the generators in the island by Christmas.

This will be in addition to the temporary 12-megawatt generating plant which is already on a ship headed to Barbados from Panama. That rented plant arrives on December 5 and BL&P personnel have already begun the preparation to ensure it is installed and commissioned by December 15.

In the meanwhile, the power company has revealed that tomorrow it is immediately proceeding with the procurement of 33 megawatts of power generation equipment to boost its permanent plant. While these four new generators costing more than $100 million will arrive equipped to burn heavy fuel, they have the capacity to be retrofitted to burn natural gas.

According to Prime Minister Mottley, BL&P has committed to doing this retrofitting early in the life of this equipment to ensure it conforms to the national policy of a 100 per cent carbon-neutral power generation environment by 2030.

“These acquisitions by BL&P will go a long way toward the immediate and long-term stabilising of the island’s electricity generating capacity and rebuilding the confidence of Barbadians in the company at this very critical time,” the Prime Minister said.

Since last week’s outages, BL&P has buttressed its maintenance capacity with temporary crews from The Bahamas and Korea and as a result is again operating with excess capacity. In fact, while the island’s peak demand stands at approximately 145 megawatts, the company’s current generating capacity is back up to 247 megawatts. (PR)


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