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BVIEC technical staff will not lose their jobs – Henry O. Creque

- Phase V Power Development Project racked up an additional $8M as BVIEC purchased three generating sets instead of two
Deputy General Manager of the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC), Mr Henry O. Creque (inset) has assured that technical employees of BVIEC will not lose their jobs due to the arrangement with Wartsila. Photo: VINO
From left: Opposition Leader and Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA, Minister for Communications and Works Hon Mark H. Vanterpool and BVEIC's Deputy General Manager Mr Henry O. Creque at the BVIEC's Power Plant at Pockwood Plant on September 15, 2016. Photo: VINO
From left: Opposition Leader and Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA, Minister for Communications and Works Hon Mark H. Vanterpool and BVEIC's Deputy General Manager Mr Henry O. Creque at the BVIEC's Power Plant at Pockwood Plant on September 15, 2016. Photo: VINO
POCKWOOD POND, Tortola, VI – Technical staff of the British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) slept comfortably last night as it was publicly announced yesterday September 15, 2016 that they will not lose their jobs to Wartsila’s arrangement with the local power company.

This was made clear by Deputy Managing Director of BVIEC, Mr Henry O. Creque who said that rather than losing their jobs the workers will benefit from upgrade training by Wartsila.

"With every project we undertake a certain amount of training to bring the staff up to speed with the new equipment and this project is going to be no different. So before we actually go to take over the systems we are going to send a certain amount of staff to get training,” said Creque as he noted that this will be done after the units are commissioned, we are going to do training on site as well," Creque said, noting that this will be done on site after the commissioning of the three new Wartsila engines that were recently brought in to the territory.

Additionally, according to the Deputy Managing Director, BVIEC will be employing additional staff as it has already commenced the interviewing process. “We are doing some interviews to help to man the additional operations.”

Those to be hired include electricians and mechanics mainly to monitor the system on a 24-hour basis. Some 12 persons are like to join BVIEC.

Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) supported what was said by Creque noting that it is part of BVIEC’s arrangements with Wartsila that they provide the local staff with training.

“When we bought these engines for the actual acceptance of them, the corporation sent a team to Finland where they were manufactured to see some of the activities on how the engines were built. I believe Wartsila will provide between a certain period of time within the warranty a certain level of overseeing to ensure that the engines are maintained and kept… and during that time our local engineers and operators will continue the training.”

He further added, “But although they are newer engines with modern technology the knowledge of engines by our local guys are already there."

$8M added to Phase V costs

From the onset, the Minister had indicated that the projected cost for Phase V of the project would have been some $40M, however, yesterday he told reporters that the cost has now escalated to $48M.

This increase, he said came after they made a decision to purchase a third Wartsila 8mw generator.

"We started phase 5 project with $40M (cost projected), $35M was the loan we took for the project, the corporation was putting in about $5M,” Hon Vanterpool explained. He further said, “During the process we decided to go towards what the corporation called phase 6, where we decided that since we are manufacturing the two engines and it might be more cost effective, we manufactured a third engine at the same time.”

He indicated that there will be no need to borrow any additional monies for that phase of the project. “But no, there is no need to go for additional monies. The corporation is funding it through its resources."

BVIEC is working towards having the new engines commissioned by mid-January 2017, taking their power generation capacity up to 24mw, taking their reserves from its current approximate 6mw to some 30mw.

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