New $35M electrical plant for GB is welcome news, Grant says

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Works and Transport Minister the Hon. Neko C. Grant address members of the media and the business community of Grand Bahama during a press conference at Pelican Bay Resort Thursday to announce the take over of the Grand Bahama Power Company by Emera. Seated is GBPC president Alan Kelley, and Emera’s CEO Chris Huskilson.

Freeport, Grand Bahama – The announced construction of a new $35 million electrical generating plant on Grand Bahama to address the current unreliable electrical supply and provide for growth is welcomed news, says Works and Transport Minister, the Hon. Neko C. Grant.

A Grand Bahama native and Member of Parliament for the Lucaya Constituency, the veteran politician was speaking on behalf of the Government during a press conference called by the Grand Bahama Power Company at the Pelican Bay Resort on Thursday, December 2.

Officials from the company announced that Emera is now the majority owner of GBPC, having completed the purchase of MaruEnergy’s 55.4 percent interest in the company.

This acquisition brings Emera’s interest in GBPC to 80.4 percent, and according to the firm’s chief executive officer Chris Huskilson, the acquisition reinforces their belief in the potential of Grand Bahama and the inherent strengths which Grand Bahama possesses.

Addressing members of the press and others from the business community, Mr. Grant noted that Emera now has a strategic foothold in Grand Bahama’s economy.

“They are a well funded company that has the means to build greater capacity to meet their customers’ current and future needs through their expertise and diverse portfolio of energy supply subsidiaries,” he stated.

The Lucaya MP pointed out that Emera is a publicly traded Canada-based holding company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia and that they are an energy and service company with electricity being their core business.

The company is already well established in the Caribbean region offering services in St. Lucia and Barbados.

Continuing, Mr. Grant added that “Emera is now an essential part of Grand Bahama’s infrastructure and an essential component of the island’s economic growth and well-being. They hold a position of leadership that they must not take lightly.

“Under their leadership and expertise we look forward to a dependable and efficient delivery of electrical power to the residents and businesses on Grand Bahama.

“The announced construction of a new $35 million electrical generating plant on Grand Bahama to address the current unreliable electrical supply and to provide for growth is welcomed news.

“On behalf of the Government, I thank them for this demonstration of confidence in The Bahamas and the economy of Grand Bahama. We look forward to the start of construction and the employment opportunity for 80 to 100 persons during the construction phase,” he said.

The new plant will be constructed adjacent to the old plant on Queen’s Highway. Power Company officials also announced Thursday that they will begin the groundwork to install two, one-megawatt wind turbines early next year which will mark the startup of renewable energy on Grand Bahama.

Commenting on that aspect of the company’s agenda, the country’s Minister for Works and Transport said that Emera is also to be commended for the undertaking of a comprehensive electrical system assessment that will lead to a diversified electrical generation system less reliant on the price of oil and hopefully in the medium to long-term at a reduced cost to the consumer.
“In this regard, we welcome their commitment to install two, one-megawatt wind turbines early next year.

“The Government of The Bahamas is committed to alternative renewal energy development as this not only makes us less dependent on escalating fossil fuel prices, but also delivers the convenience of a modern lifestyle without polluting the environment,” he stated.

Concluding, the Minister said that Emera is welcomed to Grand Bahama as a respectful and responsible corporate entity who will take care of their employees, the wider Grand Bahama communities and our environment.