Several consultants have been recruited by the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) as the state-owned company moves into the execution phase of the energy resilience project in Barbuda.
This was revealed by project coordinator Winston Whyte as he provided an overview of the venture to the sitting members of the Barbuda Council when they met recently.
Following the passage of Hurricane Irma in 2017, 95 percent of the Barbuda electricity network suffered damage and although some persons have received electricity, there are others who, after four years, are still without power.
Whyte also advised that as the project gets closer to execution and the construction of manholes begins, road users in Barbuda can expect temporary road closures and traffic disruptions.
During the meeting, Council members had the opportunity to pose questions to the panel on a range of topics to include the placement of manholes, the social support programme for persons who may be still without electricity, and the areas within Barbuda that will benefit from the new resilient infrastructure.
The relevant parties agreed that in order to adequately keep the Council up to date on the progress, a liaison officer should be appointed by the Council. The officer will also have to inform the public of any activities related to the project.
Upon completion, the project will deliver undergrounding of approximately eight kilometres of electricity cables, solar and battery back-up electricity supply to 11 government buildings, assistance with reconnection of customers who remain off the grid since Hurricane Irma and the delivery of a renewable energy integration study.
Also present at the meeting were Resident British High Commissioner for Antigua and Barbuda, Lindsay Thompson; Council chair Jacquelyn Frank; Head of Infrastructure Partnerships at the Caribbean Development Bank, Andrew Dupigny; and other members of the APUA team, plus project consultants who participated remotely.