Friday, April 19, 2024

Light and Power signs agreement for new diesel power plant

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The Barbados Light & Power Company has made another step towards improving its power generating capacity.

In a media release today, the company announced it had signed an agreement with global energy company Wärtsilä to purchase a 33MW medium speed diesel power plant.

It will be installed by mid-2020, and while the new power plant will be equipped to operate on heavy fuel oil, it will be capable of being retrofitted to burn natural gas.

“We’re pleased that we have been able to reach this milestone in the project and, with the support of the Government of Barbados,” said Light & Power’s Managing Director Roger Blackman.

“This power plant, or Clean Energy Bridge project [CEB], will replace retiring generating capacity and reduce fuel imports and carbon emissions while supporting the transition to 100 per cent renewables.

“Indeed, even after the island achieves the renewable energy targets, we believe that the CEB will be necessary as a back-up for grid reliability and resiliency,” Blackman added.

Vice President of Wärtsilä Caribbean Inc. Rodney George said they were pleased to be selected as the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor for the project.

“The power generating facility we are providing consists of four high efficiency Wärtsilä 32 generating sets, with fast starting and loading capabilities.  These attributes will complement Light & Power’s strategy for increasing renewable penetration on the electrical grid while ensuring system stability,” he said.

George said his company would also provide support through a three-way maintenance contract for spare parts and maintenance services.

“This includes Wärtsilä Asset diagnostic services, which will provide Light & Power with continuous follow up and support to allow for operating the assets in an efficient and safe way.” he explained.

Last month, Barbados suffered two islandwide power outages which brought productivity and operations to a halt.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley intervened and Light and Power said it would urgently add 15 megawatts to its grid and would start negotiations to procure this equipment. (PR/SAT)

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