In just over 3 weeks, after a major fire occurring at Light & Power’s Spring Garden Generating Plant, one of the two steam turbine generators, S2, which was affected by the fire, is back in service. However, the other generator, which suffered major damage to the boiler and auxiliary equipment, will be out of service for several months more for the necessary repair work to be carried out. Investigations are still ongoing into the cause of the fire on December 24, 2009.
These two generators, with a capacity of 20 Megawatts (MW) each, burn the lowest cost residual Bunker C fuel. While out of service, some of the Company’s standby and peaking gas turbine plant, which burn more expensive diesel and Jet A1 fuels, had to be brought into full operation and were required for longer periods than normal. As a result of this and other factors, including the recent increase in the price of fuel, the Fuel Clause Adjustment has increased to 29.0777 cents per kilowatthours (kWh) in January, approximately 1.9 cents per kWh over December.
Our Managing Director, Peter Williams, has praised the Company’s staff and Barbados Fire Service personnel who, through their quick action early on Christmas Eve morning, were able to put out the fire in just over an hour after it started and limited the amount of damage that occurred. Had they not acted so quickly and positively, this could have resulted in a major catastrophe for the Company.
We also commend the efforts of Light & Power’s generation maintenance staff who have been able to return S2 to service so quickly and for being able to maintain the operation of the remaining generators so effectively during this period. Having 40 MW, which is about 1/6 of our total generating capacity, out for an extended unplanned period like this has put a lot of pressure on our operations and we are pleased to have it back in service.
Aerial view of our Spring Garden electricity generating plant.