Photo: Jervan Swanston, acting general manager of the Nevis Electricity Company Limited
NEVLEC GM: Power generation expected to stabilize this weekend
Charlestown, Nevis – The following is a statement delivered by Jervan Swanston, acting general manager of the Nevis Electricity Company Limited (NEVLEC), on Nov. 2 regarding the status of the electricity generation at the Prospect Power Plant in Nevis.
There are nine operating generating sets at the Prospect Power Station. Out of these nine, six have been significantly de-rated, [meaning] that they are operating a lot less than their name plate ratings. In fact, some of them are as low as 50 percent.
[Therefore], what that means for us is that the generating capacity installed at the power station is not necessarily [what] we have that can be used for installed capacity.
We installed a new set in September, commissioned Sept. 12, that is rated for 3.85 megawatt. The base load in Nevis is 6 megawatt and we peak at 9. Of the other three sets, there is another Wӓrtsilӓ that is rated for 2.7 and a MP36 standby plant that is rated for 2.5.
It means that if this new engine that we had installed and the MP36 and the old Wӓrtsilӓ are running at any given time, we are fine, but when we installed the new generator a month and a half ago, I did remember making the statement that it means that we are not out of the woods yet because maintenance would have to be made on the other sets.
So, we used the opportunity to upgrade or to start the upgrade on the other Wӓrtsilӓ that was installed in 2002 it was way past its maintenance time. The technology that it uses is no longer supported by the software that we use or [by] Wӓrtsilӓ, so it needs an electrical upgrade.
We took this set out of commission and the new set [has been] been running in tandem or along with the other sets.
During this time, we developed a number of issues in the power station. The MP36 – the containerised unit – developed a problem with the turbo charger. We [repaired] the turbo charger, and right after that we developed a problem with the solenoid. Therefore, two of our main sets – the Wӓrtsilӓ 2.7 megawatts and the 2.5 MP36 – are out of commission.
What is happening going forward? [For] the MP36, we have sourced the coil and a technician [from the company] will be flying in with it this weekend.
Also, the PLC guy from Wӓrtsilӓ, Finland, is also on island. The electrical upgrade is just about done and he will be doing his necessary tests over the next two days. [We hope] by the weekend we will have back the 2.7 megawatts and the MP36, along with the new set that is running.
So hopefully, we are going to be okay as of the weekend.