Transportation of huge generators for BPL delayed by adverse weather

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE transportation of Wartsila tri-fuel generators and engines from the Arawak Cay Port to Bahamas Power & Light’s Clifton Pier site has been stalled because of weather issues, according to BPL board chairman Donovan Moxey.

BPL had released its “dynamic traffic management plan” on Monday indicating the times when the massive equipment will be transported, a process that was supposed to begin that night.

The technology will be used to install a new 132-megawatt engine power at the Clifton Pier site for $95 million. BPL officials say the installation will lead to more reliable electricity supply and lower fuel charges.

So far, according to Mr Moxey, three of the generators have already been offloaded. But heavy wind and rough sea movement prevented workers from offloading the remaining engines.

“Safety is always paramount,” Dr Moxey said. “Obviously in certain weather the generator can start to swing. I was out there on Saturday and they were offloading the fourth generator which came off the boat. They will only do so when conditions allow them to do it safely.”

Dr Moxey said a special ship was built to carry the equipment, with each generator weighing about 400 tons. The ship has its own crane to offload the equipment.

He said a temporary bridge also accompanied the ship to reinforce Arawak Cay’s bridge.

“All of these are safety measures and safety precautions undertaken by engineers,” he said.

In newspaper advertisements this week, BPL has said a small, multi-agency convoy of Wartsila tri-fuel engines moving at a controlled speed of 2mph will be transported, causing road closures and traffic diversions in stages.

“The first transport phase will be the movement of seven generators,” BPL said. “Generator transport will begin on Monday, May 13 at 9pm. Two generators will be transported each night (May 13 - May 16). We would like the public to avoid the West Bay Street, Baha Mar Blvd, JFK and Western Road where possible on those evenings. The second phase will be the seven engines. Phase two is scheduled to begin May 23, 2019, and is expected to take two weeks to complete. BPL will update on phase two in the coming days.”

In view of the weather delay, it is not clear when the convoy will begin transporting the equipment.