The Minister of Agriculture Hon, Alexis Jeffers

By S. Williams

During the inaugural airing of the radio program Government at Work, the Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Minister of responsibilities for Public Utilities, disclosed that a new generator has been procured for Nevlec and should be coming board as early as August this year.

“The engine is in the process of being purchased. Now there are various stages of this particular project that from time to time we have to do various things. Now of course we’ve already paid down about 25 percent of the cost of that generator and by my records the cost of that generator is just about 4.9 just about $5 million,” Minister Jeffers noted.

“So we have already paid down 25 percent on that particular generator. We now are at the stage. The initial down payment was to get the project started which was 20 percent then for the basic engineering that we had to do, that is wartsila, they required an additional 5 percent now we are at the point where the engine will be factory tested and also the shipment take place.”

During this week Minister Jeffers along with two engineers travelled to Finland for the factory testing of the engine that was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 22 and some additional testing on Thursday, March 23.

In terms of financing of the project, it will be fully funded by the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund (SIDF) and Minister Jeffers expressed gratitude for the support of the NIA and attributed the success with financing in part to the good relationship between the NIA and the Federal Government.

“Thank you and blessings to the Prime Minister and the entire Federal Cabinet along with the two representatives that we have from the island of Nevis that is the Hon. Vance Amory Premier and the Hon. Mark Brantley Deputy Premier of the island of Nevis who are also part of the Federal Cabinet, who when we realized that we were facing these difficulties and heading into precarious situations where the plant itself needed to be addressed then the matter was taken to the Premier, or let’s say the cabinet of the Nevis Island Administration and they would have given it its blessings,” Minister Jeffers stated.

“All of the colleagues we have in cabinet and of course we would have made the approach to Federal government and of course the SIDF and those funds were guaranteed or secured for the purchase of this generator and I want to say thanks to all who would have assisted in getting us this US $5 million to purchase this generator.”

Minister Jeffers also indicated that there are some strict timelines that were placed in the contract with wartsila and that the company is doing a remarkable job in sticking to those particular timelines.

“Around the end of August the situation here on the island would be so much more improved because this 3.8 megawatt generator and also the 2.7 megawatt wartsila generator that is there can certainly carry the base load that is there on Nevis which is just about 6 to 7 megawatts so you put the two together and you will certainly end up with our base load power here on the island of Nevis. And then you have the 2.5 megawatts standby generator so. The capacity should be well improved and the situation here on Nevis would of course be improved.”

Shipping is expected to take place somewhere around the middle of April and there is an estimated 6 weeks arrival time after which all of the electrical, mechanical and engineering work has to be done over a period of about a month.

The date therefore when the new generator is expected to be tested on site on commissioned will fall between Aug. 22 to Aug. 26 and somewhere around the end of August thereabouts then the official handing should take place.