Electricity solicitation cancelled

The Electricity Regulatory Authority has unanimously decided to cancel its solicitation for an additional 32 megawatts of generating capacity.

Authority Managing Director Philip Thomas said the move came at a board meeting held Thursday.

‘The downturn in the economy of the Cayman Islands is having the effect of reduced demand for energy,’ Mr. Thomas said.

‘The medium term forecast for future demand is that there will be no growth in demand for 2010 and 2011, and a considerably reduced demand for 2013 and 2014 from that originally forecast when the Certificate of Need was prepared by CUC.’

He noted that the ERA Board received five proposals. It rejected one, and certified four companies as qualified to submit bids. These companies were Caribbean Utilities Company, Jamaica Energy Partners, Marubeni and Wood Group. However, both Marubeni and Wood Group advised just before the April 30 deadline that they would not be submitting bids.

Mr. Thomas said that after considerable review of the economy and forecasts of medium term future load growth supplied by CUC in its capacity as Transmission & Distributing Licensee, and after independent verification of that information and forecasts, the Board of Directors of the ERA at their 24 September meeting reached its decision.

‘Should the Cayman Islands economy recover significantly and by mid 2010 renewed forecasts for future energy demand indicate that additional capacity would be needed in say 2013 and 2014, then the ERA will conduct a new solicitation and will advertise internationally and locally for new bids, for that additional capacity, ‘ Mr. Thomas said.

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