NEVLEC workers trained while outage frustrations grow

Staff at the Nevis Electricity Company NEVLEC completed a five-day training workshop on the NEVLEC’s most recent purchase of a 3.85 megawatt Wӓrtsilӓ  plant engine, but power outages continue still.

The training workshop for workers at Nevlec began Monday and was facilitated by the senior instructor of technical service, Matti Kakko, of Technical Service Turbochargers Wӓrtsilӓ North America Inc. NEVLEC procured in the past months two generators with the help of a $5 million deposit from the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation to help fix electricity woes residences have been facing.

The minister in charge of NEVLEC, the Honourable Alexis Jeffers, spoke at the opening of the workshop to lend his support to the trainees in ensuring that NEVLEC becomes a major company on the island.

“I came here this morning as the minister responsible because I want to lend my support in all you are trying to do here at NEVLEC and to ensure that we continue to transform this company and make it what it should be – that is, the major electricity generator and one of the major companies on the island,” he said. He also thanked Wӓrtsilӓ for being “our partner for almost 20 years.”

He told the trainees that knowledge is important, “but what you do with the knowledge is also important,” he added. “I believe that the knowledge that you garner here this week would be important to sustain you as you go along in improving yourself in the work place.”

Jeffers also urged the participants to make sure that at the end of the training, they would be able to apply the new knowledge in a way that would help NEVLEC to provide reliable and quality electricity moving forward.

Meanwhile, frustrated NEVLEC customers took to social media to express anguish about the constant outages. Carlise Powell, opposition senator in the Nevis Island Assembly, expressed his own frustration Wednesday, saying: “Now, my dear NEVLEC, please stop stressing me out. The minister says that the power is back to normal. Our visitors and returning family members say differently. They are frustrated with this backward, third world, on and off state of water and electricity in Nevis in 2017. Lord, man, people expect better. People deserve better. People demand better,” he wrote.

The 3.85 generator is scheduled to be turned later this month.