Categorized | Featured, Local, News

Power outages, a money issue

 Or a planning problem :

by Bennette Roach

Power-plant-contract-signing-Peter-White-and-Yogesh-Gupta

Yogesh Gupta and Peter White signing Power plant contract

When Mr. Yogesh Gupta for Angelique Int. Ltd. with Peter White for MUL signed the contract which was due to begin from that day, December 5, 2013, we learned that it would not be for another 18 months before we will know that soon after, Montserrat would be likely to experience continuous electricity without the kind of power outages that were common.

At that time we also reported that the “news comes with the damper of the power outages for which official sources (say) 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.

But, the outages continued through December and since then the problem became more exasperated and the public outcry demanded that we seek to tell them what the future holds. The Montserrat Utilities (MUL) manager, Peter White expressed his repetition about the tired engine.

White explained that in 2006 when they were forced to retire one of the major engines they obtained a used engine which itself is now passing its usefulness, while the others that were there when they got the used engine have long outlived their usefulness.

part-of-power-plant-in-Brades

part-of-power-plant-in-Brades

I asked him how he can help the people with the knowledge, knowing that the present bad situation of outages can only get worse than better. He explains: “…probably about 2005/2006, there was a similar situation where there was allot of outages and government decided to buy (a high speed) generator…the one that we got last was purchased used to help to alleviate the …that way there would be no need to run all these engines at the level that they were running. You now have another one in the mix, since that the oldest generator has reached the point where it is uneconomical to service, so we’re back now to the numbers, operating numbers we had prior to 2006.”

There is really one so to speak reliable engine which has problems but must be used sparingly. He said the first thing is to get the best of the old engines fully functioning as they were able to do towards the end of the year. “…we’re working feverishly to make sure that they get on top of it and hopefully we’ll be successful as we did in December…” he said, addressing the current problem, “…but getting that engine back on stream will be the better solution to keep the power outages to a minimum.”

White said, “We virtually rebuilt just about every one of those engines over a period of time, several times – it’s like a refurbish…”

Going forward to an immediate solution, “We would like to see where we could be able to source the funding to possibly bring in…(new replacements.)

MUL-men-at-work

MUL-men-at-work

He said that it all comes to a funding issue, “… Anything we do now is a funding issue we are in a situation right now, because of several issues on the table currently.”

He said there are other issues, “…, some related, some not,” mentioning that, “I will tell you the CLICO issue is putting a strain on the finances of the company…it’s a generation issue, but it’s a money issue,” adding that the legal authorities are saying, ”they are saying we are obligated to the people (staff members).”

Mr. White confirms that there are proposals before the Government, being considered as to the way forward. News just before press time, a report on ZJB said that a decision had been made which said, Cabinet (who usually meets on Thursdays) is seeking funds for a short term solution to the electricity outages being currently experienced on island.

In the meantime CRM members are besides themselves that three years later after sending several proposals and suggestions how to solve the now crisis problem to the government copied to DFID, they have not yet had the courtesy of an acknowledgement or response. This, a spokesman says was in 2010 around the time when the Premier had shown or expressed disinterest in geothermal development, It was also the time when the acquisition of a new engine was being discussed. More so, the spokesman says it was obvious at the time the generating plant was deteriorating.

The latest information from official sources, is that work on the new generation plant will begin next month with the designing of the plant to include the engine, beginning of. We ask, “Does that mean, July 2015?”

 

Photo Peter White signing contract

 

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 Or a planning problem :

by Bennette Roach

Power-plant-contract-signing-Peter-White-and-Yogesh-Gupta

Yogesh Gupta and Peter White signing Power plant contract

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When Mr. Yogesh Gupta for Angelique Int. Ltd. with Peter White for MUL signed the contract which was due to begin from that day, December 5, 2013, we learned that it would not be for another 18 months before we will know that soon after, Montserrat would be likely to experience continuous electricity without the kind of power outages that were common.

At that time we also reported that the “news comes with the damper of the power outages for which official sources (say) 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.

But, the outages continued through December and since then the problem became more exasperated and the public outcry demanded that we seek to tell them what the future holds. The Montserrat Utilities (MUL) manager, Peter White expressed his repetition about the tired engine.

White explained that in 2006 when they were forced to retire one of the major engines they obtained a used engine which itself is now passing its usefulness, while the others that were there when they got the used engine have long outlived their usefulness.

part-of-power-plant-in-Brades

part-of-power-plant-in-Brades

I asked him how he can help the people with the knowledge, knowing that the present bad situation of outages can only get worse than better. He explains: “…probably about 2005/2006, there was a similar situation where there was allot of outages and government decided to buy (a high speed) generator…the one that we got last was purchased used to help to alleviate the …that way there would be no need to run all these engines at the level that they were running. You now have another one in the mix, since that the oldest generator has reached the point where it is uneconomical to service, so we’re back now to the numbers, operating numbers we had prior to 2006.”

There is really one so to speak reliable engine which has problems but must be used sparingly. He said the first thing is to get the best of the old engines fully functioning as they were able to do towards the end of the year. “…we’re working feverishly to make sure that they get on top of it and hopefully we’ll be successful as we did in December…” he said, addressing the current problem, “…but getting that engine back on stream will be the better solution to keep the power outages to a minimum.”

White said, “We virtually rebuilt just about every one of those engines over a period of time, several times – it’s like a refurbish…”

Going forward to an immediate solution, “We would like to see where we could be able to source the funding to possibly bring in…(new replacements.)

MUL-men-at-work

MUL-men-at-work

He said that it all comes to a funding issue, “… Anything we do now is a funding issue we are in a situation right now, because of several issues on the table currently.”

He said there are other issues, “…, some related, some not,” mentioning that, “I will tell you the CLICO issue is putting a strain on the finances of the company…it’s a generation issue, but it’s a money issue,” adding that the legal authorities are saying, ”they are saying we are obligated to the people (staff members).”

Mr. White confirms that there are proposals before the Government, being considered as to the way forward. News just before press time, a report on ZJB said that a decision had been made which said, Cabinet (who usually meets on Thursdays) is seeking funds for a short term solution to the electricity outages being currently experienced on island.

In the meantime CRM members are besides themselves that three years later after sending several proposals and suggestions how to solve the now crisis problem to the government copied to DFID, they have not yet had the courtesy of an acknowledgement or response. This, a spokesman says was in 2010 around the time when the Premier had shown or expressed disinterest in geothermal development, It was also the time when the acquisition of a new engine was being discussed. More so, the spokesman says it was obvious at the time the generating plant was deteriorating.

The latest information from official sources, is that work on the new generation plant will begin next month with the designing of the plant to include the engine, beginning of. We ask, “Does that mean, July 2015?”

 

Photo Peter White signing contract