Stage two of Power plant project to cost EC$54m
January 22, 2010
Stage two of Power plant project to cost EC$54m

The St. Vincent Electricity Company Ltd. (VINLEC) power plant at Lowmans Bay is the most powerful electricity plant in the country.{{more}}

This declaration was made during a media briefing held on Wednesday to bring the nation up to date on the progress of the plant which is in its second phase of development.

Speaking at the briefing, CEO of VINLEC Thornley Myers said that the second phase of the project, currently in progress, will cost about EC$54 million.

“At the end of this project, we would have doubled the capacity of the Lomans Bay power plant to the point where we would have some 17.4 megawatts of installed capacity,” he said.

The second phase of the project is managed by a local engineering team, which according to Myers has reduced the cost significantly. The first phase of the project cost EC$70 million. The reduction in cost in the second phase, Myers said, will be extended to customers making the fuel surcharge “better”. He explained that with the completion on the first phase of the plant, VINLEC’s efficiency increased. He added that when the plant is in full operation by the end of this year, the overall efficiency will improve even more.

“The fuel surcharge rate will be better comparatively than if we didn’t have the Lowmans Bay power plant,” Myers said.

According to the Manager Engineering Dr Vaughn Lewis, this phase will see the installation of two additional units to increase capacity from 8.7 Megawatts to 17.4 Megawatts. The medium speed engines will have the capacity to use heavy oil to generate electricity. The capacity of the transmission switch room will also be expanded by adding a panel to accommodate a 33 kb line.

Lewis added that the new engines and auxiliary equipment will arrive in March 2010 and are expected to be fully commissioned by July 2010. “Some of the conversion work to allow the existing units to use heavy fuel will be completed in November this year,” Lewis said.

During the tour of the plant, members of the media were shown the construction work being done on the plant, the storage units, the engine room and the control room of the plant. Mark Lulley, Plant Engineer of the power station, led the tour and explained that two additional storage units will be built to facilitate more fuel. Two storage units are currently on the site.

Lulley also explained that the power plant uses about 10,000 gallons of fuel in 24 hours to produce energy. They receive a shipment of fuel every thirty days.