Categorized | Local, News

New Generating Power plant – how will the ailing present last till mid 2015?

 

Peter White (r) and Fogesh Gupta sign contract - Angelique Int Ltd. local team and Deon Weekes look on

Peter White (r) and Fogesh Gupta sign contract – Angelique Int Ltd. local team, Deon Weekes look on

“This is discouraging and frustrating,” said one resident upon hearing about the signing of the “Gen-set” contract, and how long it would take for the completion of its installation.  There is little doubt that this was on the mind of Montserrat Utilities Ltd. manager, Peter White when he opened the signing ceremony with an apology. “…the long a-waited signing of the contract for the new power station project. It’s been very long in coming and I think we have reached this point after many struggles. Hopefully this is the beginning of a smooth ride from here on in,” he said.

Following reports since July, 2011, Premier Meade’s  position was that the project was a done deal and not worth discussing any further, when he was questioned whether it was necessary to expend over $30 million for the plant. The $36 million power project received its funds as follows: DFID is providing $22.4 million for the project, $6.7 million EC dollars from the CDB through a soft loan, and an additional one million dollars in grant from the CDB. MUL and the Government of Montserrat are providing in kind contributions of six million dollars in land and local resources to the project.

White and Weekes opening six bids

White and Weekes opening six bids

The project began on September 30, 2011. Montserrat Utilities Limited (MUL) Chairman, Mr. Philip Chambers said during the project launch, that DFID contribution to the power plant project is condition upon the new power station designed so that future potential of green energy can be easily integrated into the generated plant.  (This was to prepare for geothermal power)

Chambers, presently no longer in that position, noted, “Montserrat Utilities Limited is currently operating on five unreliable high speed generating sets, which have a very high fuel consumption and a very high maintenance cost,” observing, “the high operating cost is reflected in the cost of electricity to the consumers.”

Dr. Cato Kimbugwe, DFID Programme Representative explained that the containerised diesel sets were not built for permanent operation. They were designed for emergency situations and they have a normal service expectancy of approximately 10 years. He added that some of the ‘gensets’ (generator sets) were in operations for over 15 years and in need of replacement. In 2011, Sept. Dr. Kimbugwe noted that the consumers have been affected by frequent power outages that have increased in recent times.

Power Outages continue and get worse

The situation of power outages over the past two weeks has been dire and has exacerbated the news at the contract signing, that the new powerplant will not be in place before June of 2015. The outages, guaranteed by MUL to be mere coincidence began almost immediately following a ZJB news report,with news out of London, UK where a report from the joint OCT Ministerial Council meetings, boasted on the energy efficiency in the Territories.

Gupta signs contract

Gupta signs contract

White signs for MUL

White signs for MUL

In Sept 2011, we wrote, quoting Kimbugwe at the launch, speaking about the increased power outages, which he said, can hinder Montserrat’s economic growth. “….frequent power outages mean increased cost to households and businesses, in terms of equipment failure, but more importantly for businesses, a decline in productivity and significantly Montserrat become less attractive for investment at a critical time of its investment,” cautioned, Dr. Kimbugwe.

The Power Station Expansion (New 1.5 mw diesel Alternator – project

The elongated project,( one of several with drawn-out processes, the access problem, purpose built ferry, for example), which is now scheduled to reach fruition sometime after June 2015, is being seen by present legislators as one of the weaknesses of the governments within the last ten years and in particular over the last few years.

The opening of (the first) sealed bids for the construction of the Brades Power Station Expansion project concluded at the Montserrat Utilities Ltd. (MUL) office on February 3, 2012, from two tenders, Williams Industries Incorporated and Little Bay Limited, LLC, through its joint venture partners Philadelphia Electrical Equipment Company (PEECO), Z&F Consulting and Annbar SA De CV ( Annbar Mexico). (see Issue Feb. 3, 2012 – Delays with MUL Power Station Expansion project create energy delivery problems. Or www.themontserratreporter.com)

At that time the MUL manager, had cautioned, “The evaluation process takes quite a while, the engineers would have to go through it with a fine tooth comb, ensure that they meet all the specifications etc.”

That process fell through the government requested new tenders when information provided, said that there were problems with the bids and the tender would have to be redone. It was one year later when request for tenders were advertised in February 3, 2013, following the opening of the first two tenders a year earlier.

The new bids this time from six businesses, ranging from approximately US$5,500.000.00 to US$16,936,102.00 were opened on May 12, 2013. The promise then there would be information of the winning bidder would be completed in six weeks. (see Issue June 21, 2013 – Delays with MUL Power Station Expansion project create energy delivery problems. Or www.themontserratreporter.com)

That came finally on December 5, 2013 at signing of the contract with one of the new bidders, successful. Angelique International Ltd. won the contract at a total of US$6,787,718.89 ($EC$18,326,841.00). They won against another finalist after four others were rejected. Williams Industries Inc. from Barbados, came in at $12,259,353.00. They were one of the previous bidders.

Mr. Yogesh Gupta for Angelique Int. Ltd. with Peter White for MUL signed the contract which is to begin from December 5 is to last 504 days to June 1, 2015, but later information said it would start in earnest in January 2014. The site is adjacent to the current power plant.

The scope of works is expansive to include design, manufacture, supply, performance testing in works, insurance and much more; to further include the disconnection, relocation within the power station site, and re-connection of three existing trailer mounted diesel alternator units, 3, 4 and 5 including auxiliary systems, to become part of a completely integrated power station.

The same disconnection and re-connection is required of one existing trailer mounted diesel alternator etc. along with the design and construction of the new power station building and site access road.

All that news comes with the damper of the power outages for which official sources there is no immediate solution, as the engines in service are either almost beyond repair and just cannot stand-up under the strain, especially for the Christmas season.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

 

Peter White (r) and Fogesh Gupta sign contract - Angelique Int Ltd. local team and Deon Weekes look on

Peter White (r) and Fogesh Gupta sign contract – Angelique Int Ltd. local team, Deon Weekes look on

“This is discouraging and frustrating,” said one resident upon hearing about the signing of the “Gen-set” contract, and how long it would take for the completion of its installation.  There is little doubt that this was on the mind of Montserrat Utilities Ltd. manager, Peter White when he opened the signing ceremony with an apology. “…the long a-waited signing of the contract for the new power station project. It’s been very long in coming and I think we have reached this point after many struggles. Hopefully this is the beginning of a smooth ride from here on in,” he said.

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Following reports since July, 2011, Premier Meade’s  position was that the project was a done deal and not worth discussing any further, when he was questioned whether it was necessary to expend over $30 million for the plant. The $36 million power project received its funds as follows: DFID is providing $22.4 million for the project, $6.7 million EC dollars from the CDB through a soft loan, and an additional one million dollars in grant from the CDB. MUL and the Government of Montserrat are providing in kind contributions of six million dollars in land and local resources to the project.

White and Weekes opening six bids

White and Weekes opening six bids

The project began on September 30, 2011. Montserrat Utilities Limited (MUL) Chairman, Mr. Philip Chambers said during the project launch, that DFID contribution to the power plant project is condition upon the new power station designed so that future potential of green energy can be easily integrated into the generated plant.  (This was to prepare for geothermal power)

Chambers, presently no longer in that position, noted, “Montserrat Utilities Limited is currently operating on five unreliable high speed generating sets, which have a very high fuel consumption and a very high maintenance cost,” observing, “the high operating cost is reflected in the cost of electricity to the consumers.”

Dr. Cato Kimbugwe, DFID Programme Representative explained that the containerised diesel sets were not built for permanent operation. They were designed for emergency situations and they have a normal service expectancy of approximately 10 years. He added that some of the ‘gensets’ (generator sets) were in operations for over 15 years and in need of replacement. In 2011, Sept. Dr. Kimbugwe noted that the consumers have been affected by frequent power outages that have increased in recent times.

Power Outages continue and get worse

The situation of power outages over the past two weeks has been dire and has exacerbated the news at the contract signing, that the new powerplant will not be in place before June of 2015. The outages, guaranteed by MUL to be mere coincidence began almost immediately following a ZJB news report,with news out of London, UK where a report from the joint OCT Ministerial Council meetings, boasted on the energy efficiency in the Territories.

Gupta signs contract

Gupta signs contract

White signs for MUL

White signs for MUL

In Sept 2011, we wrote, quoting Kimbugwe at the launch, speaking about the increased power outages, which he said, can hinder Montserrat’s economic growth. “….frequent power outages mean increased cost to households and businesses, in terms of equipment failure, but more importantly for businesses, a decline in productivity and significantly Montserrat become less attractive for investment at a critical time of its investment,” cautioned, Dr. Kimbugwe.

The Power Station Expansion (New 1.5 mw diesel Alternator – project

The elongated project,( one of several with drawn-out processes, the access problem, purpose built ferry, for example), which is now scheduled to reach fruition sometime after June 2015, is being seen by present legislators as one of the weaknesses of the governments within the last ten years and in particular over the last few years.

The opening of (the first) sealed bids for the construction of the Brades Power Station Expansion project concluded at the Montserrat Utilities Ltd. (MUL) office on February 3, 2012, from two tenders, Williams Industries Incorporated and Little Bay Limited, LLC, through its joint venture partners Philadelphia Electrical Equipment Company (PEECO), Z&F Consulting and Annbar SA De CV ( Annbar Mexico). (see Issue Feb. 3, 2012 – Delays with MUL Power Station Expansion project create energy delivery problems. Or www.themontserratreporter.com)

At that time the MUL manager, had cautioned, “The evaluation process takes quite a while, the engineers would have to go through it with a fine tooth comb, ensure that they meet all the specifications etc.”

That process fell through the government requested new tenders when information provided, said that there were problems with the bids and the tender would have to be redone. It was one year later when request for tenders were advertised in February 3, 2013, following the opening of the first two tenders a year earlier.

The new bids this time from six businesses, ranging from approximately US$5,500.000.00 to US$16,936,102.00 were opened on May 12, 2013. The promise then there would be information of the winning bidder would be completed in six weeks. (see Issue June 21, 2013 – Delays with MUL Power Station Expansion project create energy delivery problems. Or www.themontserratreporter.com)

That came finally on December 5, 2013 at signing of the contract with one of the new bidders, successful. Angelique International Ltd. won the contract at a total of US$6,787,718.89 ($EC$18,326,841.00). They won against another finalist after four others were rejected. Williams Industries Inc. from Barbados, came in at $12,259,353.00. They were one of the previous bidders.

Mr. Yogesh Gupta for Angelique Int. Ltd. with Peter White for MUL signed the contract which is to begin from December 5 is to last 504 days to June 1, 2015, but later information said it would start in earnest in January 2014. The site is adjacent to the current power plant.

The scope of works is expansive to include design, manufacture, supply, performance testing in works, insurance and much more; to further include the disconnection, relocation within the power station site, and re-connection of three existing trailer mounted diesel alternator units, 3, 4 and 5 including auxiliary systems, to become part of a completely integrated power station.

The same disconnection and re-connection is required of one existing trailer mounted diesel alternator etc. along with the design and construction of the new power station building and site access road.

All that news comes with the damper of the power outages for which official sources there is no immediate solution, as the engines in service are either almost beyond repair and just cannot stand-up under the strain, especially for the Christmas season.