On Monday 23 March the promised Phase V of the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) Power Development Plan commenced, and in the process delivered on the promise that was made in December by Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith.
During his Budget Address, the BVI Leader announced that he was aware that residents were bothered by load shedding, and promised that the Phase V Development Plan will bring an end to the situation.
“We remain steadfast in our pledge to reduce the Territory’s dependency on traditional fossil fuel energy generation. As a Territory, we must modernize our energy efforts. We have committed to moving forward with the BVI Electricity Corporation Phase V Development. Phase V will add two new propane gas engines and two new transmission lines to BVIEC‘s arsenal,” Hon. Smith said.
Now three months later the delivery of the promise commenced with a well attended ground breaking ceremony at Pockwood Pond Power Station. Premier Smith said “a promise made, and kept, that electricity generation would be improved so that it meets the growing consumptions of our economy. Today, we are keeping our promise!”
Minister for Communication and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool announced that the Phase V Development Programme for the British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation is a game-changer that this Government must be commended for. “We are very excited and anxious to see the Corporation deliver Phase V. You know Ladies and Gentlemen, when you talk about Phase V, when you talk about $37 million, when you talk about this development, you are talking about adding $37m, close to $40m over the next 18 months or so, to the Gross Domestic Product or GDP of the Territory of the Virgin Islands.”
“This means that over the next 18 months, money will be spent here on jobs, on hope and a great future for the people of these Virgin Islands. In the next couple of weeks, Ladies and Gentlemen, you will see hi maks, bulldozers, trucks and so on moving dirt from this area to transport it elsewhere, providing work for the people of the Territory. Ladies and Gentlemen, soon after that, you will see an addition to that building going up. More work for the people of the Virgin Islands.”
In December it was announced the propane engines utilize approximately 66 percent of fuel consumption of the traditional diesel engines and are more environmentally friendly. Additionally, Phase V will increase the Territory’s power generation capacity by 13.6 MW or approximately 33 percent.