NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (March 15, 2022) – Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis, cut the ribbon on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 to officially commission a new 3.8megawatt Wärtsilä generator at the Nevis Electricity Company (NEVLEC) power plant at Prospect.
Mr. Brantley, who is also the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), said the occasion presented an historic day for the island and people of Nevis.
“Today is a very proud day for the island of Nevis as we officially commissioned the brand new 3.8 megawatt Wärtsilä generating set at our Prospect Power Plant, taking the available power on Nevis to just under 16megawatts and ensuring a more reliable supply of electricity to our people. There can be no development in our island without energy. Energy and the provision of electricity are absolutely critical if the island is going to advance.”
He said the acquisition of the new generator comes at a critical juncture when the government is looking to reduce its energy consumption to production ratio in the face of rising fuel costs on the world market.
“The investment in the Wärtsilä engine will reduce our consumption of fuel. That is particularly important because we understand that right now there are external pressures, the war in Ukraine amongst them, that are forcing up the price of fuel, and every time the price of fuel increases it means that NEVLEC is forced to pass on some of that increase to our consumers. Our people are already experiencing high electricity bills, and if the price of fuel continues to rise we can expect that those bills are going to rise with it, and that is why investing in more energy efficient equipment ensures that our consumption of fuel is minimized.”
The Premier commended Deputy Premier, Hon. Alex Jeffers, who had acquired the first two diesel engines during his tenure as Minister responsible for NEVLEC, for building a significant foundation for electricity generation on the island.
“Now today we celebrate the addition of another 3.8 megawatt engine from Wärtsilä, demonstrating that when back in 2000/2001 the plant was constructed and provision made for three engines, we had the vision even then. While it has taken us 20 years to get all three engines in place we are happy today, praise be to God, that we have now filled out all of the spaces and we have three engines; and based on what we’ve heard from the technical team, we are today in a much better position to guarantee the people of Nevis a reliable source of energy.”
He also thanked Republic Bank for having the confidence in the NIA and NEVLEC to come onboard and provide the financing for the purchase of the generator.
The NIA invested EC $16, 555,733 to acquire the new generator, the third such piece of critical equipment purchased in the past six years.
NEVLEC General Manager, Mr. Albert Gordon, said the new generator is more fuel-efficient than the existing engines, which will redound to the benefit of consumers in a tangible way.
“The new plant will essentially be delivering 20killowatts per gallon. In terms of efficiency, this plant will make a very significant difference in our system that will translate in a reduction of the fuel surcharge that we now charge consumers. So in terms of efficiency it’s going to play a significant role. It’s going to improve safety, it’s newer, it’s more automated, and the staff will be able to better operate and maintain it in a safer environment.”
Mr. Gordon joined the Premier is applauding the management and staff of NEVLEC for their commitment and dedication in ensuring the people of Nevis continue to have a reliable supply of electricity.
Also delivering remarks at the ceremony were Mr. Tganni Louisy, a representative from Wärtsilä; Mr. Earl Springette, NEVLEC Generation Manager; Mr. Stedmond Tross, Chairman of the NEVLEC Board of Directors; and Mrs. Pamela Herbert-Daniel, Republic Bank EC Ltd Country Manager for St. Kitts and Nevis.
Present at the auspicious occasion were members of the NIA Cabinet, and other government officials in addition to members of the NEVLEC management and staff.