The governing board of the Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority ratified the purchase of several items to facilitate the continued restoration of electrical service in the aftermath of the recent hurricanes. The action came at the board’s monthly meeting held on St. Croix Friday.

            The purchases from Peco International Electric and Electric Supply of Tampa are for materials, supplies, and equipment needed to maintain the pace of restoration territory-wide.  The purchases included several digger derricks for both districts.  The board also approved contracts between WAPA and Haugland Energy Group as well as between the Authority and Northeast Public Power Association. Both companies are providing emergency line crews and equipment for the restoration of the electrical transmission and distribution systems.


            In other action, the board approved:

·         A $100,000 increase in an emergency and supplemental maintenance contract with Patrick Charles Enterprises. The company provides supplemental labor, equipment or materials to the Harley power plant on St. Thomas. This additional manpower allows the Authority to maintain project milestones for the acquisition of another leased generating unit and the new generation project.


·         A project management contract in the amount of $966,600 with West Peak, LLC. The company will ensure that the new generation contractor complies with all specifications, code requirements, and design drawings while making certain the project is completed on schedule and within budget. WAPA is under contract with Wartsila North America to provide new generators for the two power plants.


·         A contract with Leumas Engineering in the amount of $2.4 million to complete the Christiansted Rehabilitation Phase II project. WAPA has been awarded a grant to complete the rehabilitation of water lines in Christiansted.


·         A settlement agreement with Turboserve for work performed on a gas turbine generator. Friday’s action increased the contract total by $40,994.48.


·         Authorized the Executive Director to begin negotiations with Aggreko for a lease agreement for the St. Croix Richmond Power Plant to replace 20 megawatts of lost generation capacity.


·         A no-cost time extension on a contract to allow V.I. Paving to make up days resulting from delays with another contractor. The new contract end date is February 15, 2018.


·         A no-cost, two-month extension with IV-AGA, a company providing design, engineering and construction of fire protection systems for WAPA’s fuel storage tanks and major plant assets. The new contract end date is December 31, 2017.


·         A 78-day no-cost time extension on an existing contract for the Veterans Drive 10-inch Waterline Rehabilitation project. The new contract end date is December 15, 2017.


In his report, Executive Director Julio A. Rhymer, Sr. provided a broad overview of the restoration efforts underway across the territory. Rhymer and all board members lauded the work of the employees who have worked tirelessly since the hurricanes to restore electrical service to our islands. He spoke of the challenges some employees faced in the aftermath of the hurricanes while they continued to “display their dedication and commitment to WAPA by turning out to work day after day despite the personal setbacks.” Rhymer said the Authority is engaged in a comprehensive restoration plan in both districts with considerable manpower and equipment resources. “We have added even more manpower today in both districts along with bucket trucks, digger derricks, cable trailers and other equipment. A supply vessel was off loaded on St. Thomas Thursday and is currently being offloaded on St. Croix.” With the additional manpower territory-wide, WAPA expects to complete at least 90% of the restoration by December.


          Board members in attendance included Chairperson Elizabeth Armstrong, Vice Chairman Noel Loftus, Secretary Juanita Young, and Sherry Boynes Jackson, Hubert Turnbull, Commissioner Devin Carrington, Gerald Groner, Esq. and Noel Loftus. Director Marvin Pickering was excused.