Thu | May 25, 2017

EMERA denies eying power company VINLEC

Published:Wednesday | September 2, 2015 | 9:00 AM

Barbados-based Emera Caribbean Inc says reports that it is buying another regional power asset are false.

It was responding to St Vincent media reports that, along with the geothermal initiative, Emera was in discussions with the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the acquisition of a controlling interest in St Vincent Electricity Services Limited (VINLEC).

"This is not the case, and no such discussions are taking place or have taken place," said Emera Managing Director Peter Williams in a statement.

Emera's denial followed radio comments the previous week from former minister of works Glenford Stewart, who said Emera and VINLEC were in talks regarding the potential sale of VINLEC.

VINLEC Chief Executive Officer Thornley Myers has also indicated that talks were taking place with Emera to acquire control of the St Vincent's electricity company.

Emera Caribbean is a subsidiary of Emera Inc of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It owns 100 per cent of the Barbados Light & Power Company, has a majority 52 per cent interest in Dominica Electricity Services Limited, 80 per cent holding in Grand Bahama Power Company, and a 19.1 per cent interest in St Lucia Electricity Services Limited.

Emera and Rekjavik Geothermal, an Icelandic firm, are partnering with the St Vincent government to construct a US$80 million geothermal power plant at the La Soufriere Volcano.

The two energy companies will own 75 per cent of the geothermal power plant, and the government will own the remaining 25 per cent.

The partners are working with VINLEC to ensure proper integration of the new energy supplies to the grid.

"In this regard, VINLEC is playing an important role in the project, in meeting its duty to ensure the energy from the proposed geothermal plant is delivered to the grid in a manner that does not compromise the safety and reliability of the electricity network," said Williams of Emera Caribbean.

"VINLEC engineers are engaged and will continue to be involved in discussions regarding the transmission interconnection requirements and other technical aspects of the project," he said.

The geothermal project is also receiving the support of the Clinton Foundation, which is providing the St Vincent government with independent policy and legal advice under the Clinton Climate Change Initiative.

Williams said the energy project, expected to be completed in 2018, "continues to make steady progress" and will soon be moving to the drilling phase.

"When completed, the island's geothermal resource will position St Vincent among the leaders in transforming the Caribbean to a green energy future," he said.

- CMC