Wadadli Power Plant closed

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The Wadadli Power Plant, which has been a source of heated political debate, has been closed.

Antigua Public Utilities Authority Electricity Business Unit Manager – Andre Matthias, said that it was the best economic choice.

“From the start of this year, I started looking at the numbers closely, but then I started looking even closer at the numbers and when you compare the amount of outages we had on these two units, and you compare what you are purchasing from APC, it just didn’t make any economic sense, Matthias explained.

Matthias said one of the remaining units also failed recently after a part went bad and this left one unreliable unit.

Matthias said that the future of some of the employees is uncertain. He revealed that APUA has been in touch with the unions representing the workers, and even though some can be deployed into the ranks at APUA, not everyone will be.

In chronicling the lead up to the shutdown of the plant, Matthias said that the 30-megawatt plant which housed six units already had rusting before the point of its commissioning in 2011 and was decommissioned 5 years later.

A European firm was then approached for an audit of the plant. The company suggested that three of the units be used to stabilise the three remaining units.

The Chinese-built and funded, Wadadli Power Plant, has been plagued by several operational challenges since 2011 with the now Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party administration calling for a commission of inquiry into the matter.

Given the condition of the power plant, many debated whether the unit was old or new. Matthias said the more important factor is how the plant performs, and to date it has underperformed.

While the electricity business unit manager stopped short of giving an amount, he said Antigua and Barbuda is still repaying debt for the plant.

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