Power bid decision postponed

Two power companies bidding for a contract to generate additional electricity for Grand Cayman will have to wait until late next month to hear which will win.

Cayman’s Caribbean Utilities Company and Kingston-based Jamaica Energy Partners have both submitted bids to generate 32 megawatts of energy in Cayman by 2013.

According to documentation sent to the bidders from the Electricity Regulatory Authority, a decision was initially due in July, but this was put off until August.

Philip Thomas, managing director and secretary of the authority, said on Monday that a decision would be now be made late next month to give the regulatory body’s new board time to examine the bids.

‘The ERA board, including a new chairperson and five new directors met last Wednesday,’ Mr. Thomas said.

‘The new board members have not had sufficient time to review the bid documents and the two bidders have been advised that no decision will be taken until late September, which still allows sufficient time for the successful bidder to commission the first unit by May 2012,’ he added.

In April this year, the companies submitted their bids to provide a 16MW generator by May 2012 and a second one by May 2013 to meet anticipated demand.

This is the first time there has been a possible alternative to CUC generating power in Cayman.

CUC signed a 21.5 year licence with the Cayman Islands government in April last year. Under the terms of the agreement, the utility company no longer has the monopoly on generating power in Cayman, but retains exclusive rights to distribution and transmission.

This means if JEP wins the bid, it will have to connect to the CUC to deliver the generated electricity to households and businesses.