Categorized | Featured, Local, News

Electricity Power Plant Urgency

REfurbished-genset-at-BradesFormer Montserrat Utilities Ltd (MUL) Manager Peter White in December, 2013 along with Mr. Yogesh Gupta for Angelique Int. Ltd. signed a contract which began from December 5. The contract was expected to last 504 days to June 1, 2015. In fact later information said it would start in earnest in January 2014.

This contract was to construct a power plant with a New 1.5 mw diesel Alternator installed intended to meet the uninterrupted needs of Montserrat and support the advent of geothermal energy which has to some extent been so far disappointing that a commencing date is nowhere in sight.

The expansion project had begun September 30, 2011 and was one of several with drawn-out processes. Tourism development, the access problem, purpose built ferry, for example, seen at the time as one of the weaknesses of the governments within the last ten years and in particular over the last few years.

Towards the end of January 2014, MUL confirmed that there were proposals before the Government, to the way forward as a result of the severe outages being experienced on island at the time. By the end of May came the report that a refurbished the generator set with capacity of 1350 kilowatts, was installed after being tested and refitted to meet requirements.

Presently a frequency of power outages have reemerged and has brought to the fore there has been silence of the non-completion of the new power plant at Brades which was initially due to be completed in June this year.

A series of outages in early December 2013, was guaranteed by MUL to be mere coincidence beginning almost immediately following news out of London, UK where a report from the joint OCT Ministerial Council meetings, boasted on the energy efficiency in the Territories.

Now new General Manager David Thompson says that the frequent power outages have been caused by problems with three of four generators at the power station. He said the problems were the result from recent damage caused by storms.

He gave a full rundown of the problems and told ZJB thus: “We have suffered two blows recently one on the 2nd October when the turbo charger from one of the generators was taken out and we’re having trouble getting that working back again, so that’s working but it very much under power.

“Then in June the storms on the 8th October, when there’s a lot of thunder and lightning about. We think we had a lightning strike in the yard and that has affected one of the alternators which is attached to one of the generators. We’ve got two generators that have been damaged by the storms recently, which is not good because we need two out of four at any one time.

“One of the other generators is due for overhaul, it’s getting a bit tired, needs perking up but it’s having to work because the other generators are out, so we’ve got problems with three of them and the fourth one is feeling the weight because of that as well. So, at the moment all four generators are suffering for one reason or another, but very different reasons in each case. So we’ve got problems.  We know that and we apologize.”

He said most of the interruptions are island wide, and he explained: “Sometimes we can put one feeder, the north feeder or the south feeder on, but I’ve just been talking about the generators…So these generator problems are over and above sort of the normal – we wouldn’t expect this many generator problems at any one time.  We would expect occasional distribution problems, accidents, storms, which are still happening…”

With those difficulties, questions for MUL and the Government, when will the explanations and regular dependable electricity be available?

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REfurbished-genset-at-BradesFormer Montserrat Utilities Ltd (MUL) Manager Peter White in December, 2013 along with Mr. Yogesh Gupta for Angelique Int. Ltd. signed a contract which began from December 5. The contract was expected to last 504 days to June 1, 2015. In fact later information said it would start in earnest in January 2014.

This contract was to construct a power plant with a New 1.5 mw diesel Alternator installed intended to meet the uninterrupted needs of Montserrat and support the advent of geothermal energy which has to some extent been so far disappointing that a commencing date is nowhere in sight.

The expansion project had begun September 30, 2011 and was one of several with drawn-out processes. Tourism development, the access problem, purpose built ferry, for example, seen at the time as one of the weaknesses of the governments within the last ten years and in particular over the last few years.

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Towards the end of January 2014, MUL confirmed that there were proposals before the Government, to the way forward as a result of the severe outages being experienced on island at the time. By the end of May came the report that a refurbished the generator set with capacity of 1350 kilowatts, was installed after being tested and refitted to meet requirements.

Presently a frequency of power outages have reemerged and has brought to the fore there has been silence of the non-completion of the new power plant at Brades which was initially due to be completed in June this year.

A series of outages in early December 2013, was guaranteed by MUL to be mere coincidence beginning almost immediately following news out of London, UK where a report from the joint OCT Ministerial Council meetings, boasted on the energy efficiency in the Territories.

Now new General Manager David Thompson says that the frequent power outages have been caused by problems with three of four generators at the power station. He said the problems were the result from recent damage caused by storms.

He gave a full rundown of the problems and told ZJB thus: “We have suffered two blows recently one on the 2nd October when the turbo charger from one of the generators was taken out and we’re having trouble getting that working back again, so that’s working but it very much under power.

“Then in June the storms on the 8th October, when there’s a lot of thunder and lightning about. We think we had a lightning strike in the yard and that has affected one of the alternators which is attached to one of the generators. We’ve got two generators that have been damaged by the storms recently, which is not good because we need two out of four at any one time.

“One of the other generators is due for overhaul, it’s getting a bit tired, needs perking up but it’s having to work because the other generators are out, so we’ve got problems with three of them and the fourth one is feeling the weight because of that as well. So, at the moment all four generators are suffering for one reason or another, but very different reasons in each case. So we’ve got problems.  We know that and we apologize.”

He said most of the interruptions are island wide, and he explained: “Sometimes we can put one feeder, the north feeder or the south feeder on, but I’ve just been talking about the generators…So these generator problems are over and above sort of the normal – we wouldn’t expect this many generator problems at any one time.  We would expect occasional distribution problems, accidents, storms, which are still happening…”

With those difficulties, questions for MUL and the Government, when will the explanations and regular dependable electricity be available?