The Needsmust Power Station’s (NPS) capacity to supply electricity will soon be bolstered By 8 Megawatts with the commissioning of two new generators. The two 4.0MW Hole By gensets from MAN Diesel arrived in St. Kitts on Saturday, August 21. However, they are not scheduled to be commissioned until October. Speaking with The Observer, NPS Superintendent Kevin Bennett explained why it would take more than a month for the new generators to come on-stream. “A lot of preparation goes into commissioning new equipment. Technicians would have to connect all the different pipes, fuel lines, radiators, and cables. It takes time; it’s a process,” he said. Bennett said the additional capacity would bolster the Power Station’s ability to meet consumer demand for electricity. “Right now we don’t have much flexibility in terms of capacity, and once capacity is increased we would be better able to meet and surpass consumer demand,” he said, noting further that in July the NPS was operating just above the peak power demand for St. Kitts, which is 26MW. Two more generators have been purchased By the government, bringing the total procurement cost to US$30 million. The third and fourth Hole By generators are scheduled to arrive later this year, and then commissioned By February 2011. They will add another 8MW to NPS’ capacity. According to a recent government press release, “Between 2007 and 2011 the Ministry [of Public Utilities] would have procured a total of seven (7) 4.0MW Hole By engines costing approximately US$58 million.” It also informed that the new generators would be housed at a second generating station on a new site, to be located east of the Needsmust Power Station. In July, a 6.1MW G1 generator was taken offline for routine maintenance. Bennett told The Observer that, “work is progressing according to schedule”. He said that despite the offline generator, the NPS had been able to meet consumer demand for electricity without resorting to load shedding. “We’ve done pretty good so far and managed to continue the overhaul of the engine without implementing load shedding. However, due to our limited capacity, any problems with the online generators could result in load shedding,” he said, adding that he could not give a definitive date for when the G1 generator would be back online. Bennett also explained that a brief power outage in the Mc Knight area earlier this week was caused By a faulty underground cable. “The technicians put something temporary in place so that persons would have power because that was the priority. They are still working on the faulty cable, trying to dig it out and repair it, but the main thing was to get power back to consumers as quickly as possible,” he informed.