BPL has awarded the order on a full engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) basis and the plant is expected to be delivered as a priority project as it is targeted to start commercial operations by the end of summer 2019.

Wärtsilä said that the present power plant would help BPL in improving its grid reliability on the island and is expected to deliver the plant by 2019 summer.

BPL CEO Whitney Hastie said: “BPL is on a parallel path to install additional generating capacity as quickly as possible in order to meet demand, and to replace our existing temporary generating assets.

“We have selected highly efficient Wärtsilä prime movers that are suitable for the Bahamas environment, and which have the flexibility to be upgraded to burn natural gas when LNG becomes available on the island of New Providence. We are convinced that as a technology leader in energy efficient engine solutions and as an experienced EPC contractor, Wärtsilä will meet our expectations for this project.”

The power plant, operated on seven high efficiency Wärtsilä 50 engines, is designed to be primarily fueled with liquefied natural gas (LNG) if it is locally available and can be operated on conventional heavy fuel oil otherwise.

The operational flexibility of the plant enables it to reach the full output from start-up within minutes and facilitates the increased levels of renewable energy introduced into the system.

The new power plant will be installed at the BPL’s existing Station A on the island of New Providence, which will be stripped of all of its current slow speed reciprocating engines to make way for the new Wärtsilä generating sets.

Wärtsilä Energy Business caribbean business development manager Edmund Phillips said: “Wärtsilä is delighted to be selected by BPL to take on this challenging project. This will be our first major EPC project in the Bahamas, and we look forward to meeting BPL’s tight delivery schedule and their expectation for reliable and efficient additional power generation.

“We are also mindful of BPL’s future strategic interests in utilizing clean burning LNG and in adding renewable capacity. Wärtsilä has the expertise to support these initiatives and look forward to a long-lasting partnership with BPL.”