EWI to be held to strict timeline
Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
If the troubled 381 megaWatt energy project gets off the ground, the preferred bidder, Energy World International (EWI), will be required to provide the Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR) with monthly progress reports on the status of the project.
The April 14 licence, which was signed by portfolio minister Phillip Paulwell, provides for the takeover of the project in the event that targets are not being met or if there has been unjustified cessation of activities on any site for two consecutive days.
The licence has been posted on the regulator's website.
It states that if the licensee ceased to operate at all or to operate any equipment critical to the project for a period of 48 consecutive hours without consent from the minister, the minister or his designee may enter any site and assume operational control of that system or equipment.
This, however, may only happen if the minister has given prompt notice to the licencee determining that it is operating in breach.
SEE: Energy World International supply of electricity licence Act
The clause is not enforceable if certain events such as a natural disaster or industrial action is deemed to have caused a cessation of operation.
EWI is, at the moment, seeking to get the Inter-American Development Bank to reverse its decision not to provide non-equity funding and its imprimatur for EWI to secure other capital for the construction of the power plant, which is to be fueled by natural gas.
The company says it will cost US$737 million to execute the project, but up to press time had not posted the US$36.85-million performance bond, as mandated under the agreement with the Government.
The money was due last Thursday night, but Paulwell said the extenuating circumstances which have arisen due to the IDB’s stance, has led him to relax the rules.
EWI on Tuesday said it lodged the necessary amounts with its Hong Kong bankers to allow for the payment of the bond.
The company said the bank is now doing its due diligence before releasing the funds for the payment of the performance bond.
EWI will have to commission the facilities that are critical to the reduction of the country's energy costs by 2016.
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