VINLEC having to use more diesel fuel to generate electricity
In the absence of the use of the hydroelectric power plant at Richmond, the St Vincent Electricity Services Ltd (VINLEC) is having to use more diesel fuel to generate electricity.
There are three hydro plants in the country: one in Richmond, one in Cumberland, and another in South Rivers. Together they apparently provide around 18 per cent of the country’s electricity.
“The three hydro plants – particularly one of concern to us is the Richmond Hydro plant because that is located in an area where it is likely to be impacted by the explosive volcanic activity,” VINLEC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thornley Myers explained at a press conference on April 30.
After the evacuation order was issued on April 8, the company closed operations at the Richmond plant.
“The close of the Richmond Hydro Plant essentially did not disrupt our capacity to provide energy in St Vincent for the needs of our citizens,” Myers indicated. “Nevertheless it’s an important part of our generating plant and we closed this operation in an effort to clearly safeguard our assets and also our employees needed to be out of that area.”
Later, on the topic of how this will affect the customer’s bills, the CEO explained that as the plant is not in operation, “going forward, meaning, for the month of April, when we have not had the use of the Richmond Hydro Plant, it means that we’ve had to use more fuel than we would normally have had to use if the plant is working.”
“…It is likely that the cost of fuel for generation of the electricity would be up, and it is possible – there are many factors which come into play – but it is possible that next month you may have an increase fuel surcharge.”
He noted that he was not saying for certain that this is what will happen, because they do not know what will be “the average cost per gallon of fuel during this month.”