The following is a statement issued by the MD of Barbados Light & Power a few minutes ago. Prime Minister Mia Mottley has demanded a meeting with the Chairman of EMERA this evening.
Several stories have been floating about social media in the last 24 hours, BU will stay with the official positions issued by the BL&P for the moment.
The Barbados Light & Power Company Limited (BLPC) wishes to update Barbadians on the electricity outages that have occurred this week. We recognise that this affects our nation’s productivity and ability to serve your own customers and clients. For this, we sincerely apologise and wish to assure you that we are taking this very seriously. Our teams are assiduously working to bring full restoration back to our island.
BLPC uses Heavy Fuel Oil to produce electricity to meet the needs of our customers. At present, we are experiencing a Heavy Fuel Oil quality issue, which has been plaguing us for an extended period. The presence of contaminants detected in the Heavy Fuel Oil is the main cause of the challenges we are experiencing.
The outage events which occurred this week are extraordinary events originating with a switch failure in one of our Spring Garden substations, and during that restoration process, a second event occurred on Tuesday morning with a fault on one of our generating units. In both cases system protection response is being investigated.
Over the past few months, to compound the restoration and supply issues, we have been investigating oil quality issues which are prematurely damaging equipment used to feed oil to our generating units. At present, generating units that we would normally rely on to supply electricity demand have periodically been shutting down due to the fuel issues and this has slowed the pace of restoration.
We are working with our fuel supplier and other stakeholders to hone in upon the specific cause and source of potential contamination from their suppliers, which is ongoing. We have been staying ahead of these issues while we completed other maintenance and repairs to the remainder of our generating fleet, however, this week highlighted the challenge we have been working through to prevent such an event from occurring.
We wish to thank you for your patience, support and encouraging words as we work through this period. We are meeting with the Prime Minister, other Government officials and the Barbados Water Authority this evening to give a comprehensive update and to provide an update on our status and plans going forward to resolve our challenges. We will of course keep you updated of any significant changes as things evolve.
The Chairman of our Board Rick Janega from Emera is on island and will be a part of the meeting with government.