Lowmans Bay power plant on stream
June 2, 2006
Lowmans Bay power plant on stream

A more efficient electricity supply will soon be available to Vincentians with the commissioning of the Lowmans Bay Power plant in September.

The project commenced in 2003 and construction work got on the way in December 2004. The project is being undertaken at a total cost of US$37 million (just under EC$100 million).{{more}}

While on a tour of the project last week Thursday, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said the project is one which will start Phase I of the expansion of electricity services. He said at present the electricity that is being supplied by the two engines at Cane Hall is only 45-50% of the general demand, noting that with the additional two engines at Lowmans Bay, the supply should increase to approximately 100%.

The Prime Minister however stated that there were some important areas of demand that would soon be coming on stream. He noted that the international airport would place high demands on the electricity supply, as well as the hotel development planned for Buccament Bay and Peter’s Hope.

Dr. Gonsalves said that the management of the St. Vincent Electricity Services Limited (VINLEC) would have to advise policy makers as to the pace at which the engines at Cane Hall are retired.

The Prime Minister added that given the price of fuel, alternative sources of energy would have to be examined. He said, at present, wind and thermal energy are being considered as alternatives. “We have to treat the energy question very seriously,” he said.

He continued: “The days of low price fuel, are over”.

Dr. Gonsalves reminded Vincentians that the cost of a barrel of oil has climbed from US$32 in the beginning of 2001 to about US$70 at present, and that “it’s remarkable that a poor country like St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been able to withstand the shocks”.

Chief Executive Officer of VINLEC, Thornley Myers, said although the project is about two months behind schedule, it is still within budget. He said despite the challenges faced, the project is going along and will be commissioned soon with 8.6 mega watts of power.

When completed, the project will have a power plant along with associated switch gear and transformers. The project is being managed by Herbert Samuel.

Minister of Urban Development, and Parliamentary Representative for the area, René Baptiste along with other members of Cabinet accompanied the Prime Minister on the tour.