by Linda Straker
- Government became majority shareholder of Grenlec in late December 2020
- New 9.7 MW engine cost over EC$16 million
- Replaces an engine that was damaged in 2020
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell has explained that the Government’s decision to finalise the purchasing of the new fossil fuel generator for Grenlec was to ensure that there is a continuous supply of electricity because of the uncertain state of the generator at the plant.
Government became the majority shareholder of Grenlec in late December 2020 and the former owners began the process to purchase the new generator before the conclusion of the repurchasing arrangement.
“There was a school of thought that we could have moved into alternative energy and save ourselves serious resources because as you know fossil fuel costs a bit more and alternative energy will be more cheaper,” Dr Mitchell said in a special media engagement last week Wednesday.
“But the risk of knowing some of the equipment is old and could break down on us and facing the consequences of shortages, we could not have taken that, and the decision was to protect ourselves first,” he continued.
“The loss of economic activity by insufficient or irregular supply of electricity can be far more costly than the cost of a generator, so that is why we continue with the decision,” said the Prime Minister who disclosed that the deal to purchase the new generator began with WRB Enterprises, the former majority shareholder.
At a cost of over EC$16 million, the new 9.7 MW engine which was transported to the plant at Queen’s Park on 6 June replaced an engine that was damaged in 2020. It will increase the overall generation capacity at the plant to 52 MW.
A news release from Grenlec said that since 2020, the Generation Plant has been provided spare capacity by a series of rental units. “When the new engine is fully commissioned, these rental units will be returned.”
Special civil, mechanical and electrical works were done as part of preparation for the new Wartsila engine, which was transported on a special 8-axle trailer.
The news release issued hours before the moving of the generator quoted Clive Hosten Chief Engineer of Grenlec as saying that the scale of the undertaking required specialist skills, some of which are being ably provided by Grenadian experts and others that have been imported.
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