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Friday, December 2, 2022
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WAPA Board OKs Purchase of Materials, Supplies

Water and Power Authority on St. Croix

The governing board of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority ratified the purchase of items needed for the continued restoration of electrical service in the aftermath of the recent hurricanes.

The action came Friday at the board’s monthly meeting held on St. Croix.

The purchases from Peco International Electric and Electric Supply of Tampa are for materials, supplies and equipment needed to maintain the pace of restoration territory-wide, WAPA reported in a news release. The purchases included several digger derricks for both districts.

The board also approved contracts between WAPA and Haugland Energy Group as well as between the authority and Northeast Public Power Association. Both companies are providing emergency line crews and equipment for the restoration of the electrical transmission and distribution systems.

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WAPA’s news release did not include the cost for either the purchases from Peco, or the two contracts.

In other action, the board approved:

– A $100,000 increase in an emergency and supplemental maintenance contract with Patrick Charles Enterprises. The company provides supplemental labor, equipment or materials to the Harley power plant on St. Thomas. The additional manpower will allow WAPA to maintain project milestones for the acquisition of another leased generating unit and the new generation project.

– A project management contract in the amount of $966,600 with West Peak, LLC. The company will ensure that the new generation contractor complies with all specifications, code requirements, and design drawings while making certain the project is completed on schedule and within budget. WAPA is under contract with Wartsila North America to provide new generators for the two power plants.

– A contract with Leumas Engineering in the amount of $2.4 million to complete the Christiansted Rehabilitation Phase II project. WAPA has been awarded a grant to complete the rehabilitation of water lines in Christiansted.

– A settlement agreement with Turboserve for work performed on a gas turbine generator. Friday’s action increased the contract total by $40,994.48.

– Authorized the executive director to begin negotiations with Aggreko for a lease agreement for the St. Croix Richmond Power Plant to replace 20 megawatts of lost generation capacity.

– A no-cost time extension on a contract to allow V.I. Paving to make up days resulting from delays with another contractor. The new contract end date is Feb. 15.

– A no-cost, two-month extension with IV-AGA, a company providing design, engineering and construction of fire protection systems for WAPA’s fuel storage tanks and major plant assets. The new contract end date is Dec. 31.

In his report, Executive Director Julio A. Rhymer Sr., provided a broad overview of the restoration efforts underway across the territory. Rhymer and all board members lauded the work of the employees who have worked tirelessly since the hurricanes to restore electrical service to the territory. He spoke of the challenges some employees faced in the aftermath of the hurricanes while they continued to “display their dedication and commitment to WAPA by turning out to work day after day despite the personal setbacks.”

Rhymer said the Authority is engaged in a comprehensive restoration plan in both districts with considerable manpower and equipment resources.

“We have added even more manpower today in both districts along with bucket trucks, digger derricks, cable trailers and other equipment. A supply vessel was off loaded on St. Thomas Thursday and is currently being offloaded on St. Croix.”

With the additional manpower territory-wide, WAPA expects to complete at least 90 percent of the restoration by December.

Board members in attendance included Chairperson Elizabeth Armstrong, Vice Chairman Noel Loftus, Secretary Juanita Young, and Sherry Boynes Jackson, Hubert Turnbull, Commissioner Devin Carrington, Gerald Groner, Esq. and Noel Loftus. Director Marvin Pickering was excused.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. WAPA needs to address the inadequacy of the current plan to connect power to individual homes as the power lines are restored. Making homeowners responsible for finding a VI licensed electrician who would certify that the weather heads and power box posts are safe for receiving WAPA power before the connection is made places a cumbersome and unfair responsibility on individual homeowners. Given the vast amount of destruction and the limited number of VI licensed electricians available to contact, this will cause an undue and unnecessary delay to recovery process. I get the rules and the rationale of the policy, but given the dire circumstances, WAPA needs to be more flexible with its approach to power hook-up to individual homes. WAPA should contract with approved electricians would will travel with the lineman as power is being restored and do these inspections to determine that a home’s weather head and power post is in good working condition. Otherwise many people are going to be suffering unnecessary delays in getting power restored to their homes simply because they either can’t find an electrician available to do the work or because electrician are not available to do the necessary inspections of the weather head and power post before the lineman arrive and power is restored to the power line services their home. .

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