The Cayman Islands Electricity Regulatory Authority is once again seeking qualified bidders in a solicitation process to own and operate 36 megawatts of new power generating capacity on Grand Cayman by 2016.
About five months ago, the authority canceled a previous solicitation for new power generation due to “unavoidable and unforeseen delays.”
According to earlier statements by the authority, Dart Realty Cayman Ltd. had been chosen to supply 36 megawatts of electricity by summer 2014, but that delays and “declining consumer demand for power” forced the cancellation of the process.
The transmission license issued to Caribbean Utilities Company in April 2008 required new generation as one of the “core principles” upon which CUC was granted the license.
The deadline for statements of qualifications by interested parties for the 36 megawatt generation is Dec. 20. Following those submissions, the ERA will review and decide which parties are qualified to receive request for proposals on the project.
New power generation has been an issue for the Cayman Islands and the Electricity Regulatory Authority over the past few years.
On Feb. 9, 2013, the authority awarded Dart Realty’s engineering company – DECCO – the 36 megawatt bid, scheduled for initial commissioning of 18 megawatts in July 2014, followed by the another 18 megawatts in 2017.
DECCO released a statement earlier this year saying it was “comfortable” with the bid cancellation.
There is a continuing investigation by the Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Commission regarding “allegations of irregularities” made by the authority’s former managing director, Joey Ebanks, about the previous bidding process.
In an unrelated case, Mr. Ebanks is before the court on 17 charges related to dishonesty offenses that police said occurred while he was managing director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority. According to court records, they cover a period between September 2012 and March 2013. The majority of the charges allege obtaining money transfers or property by deception, with the property being money that belonged to the authority.
In September 2009, the authority cancelled a bid for 32 megawatts of electricity, also citing a declining economy and reduced consumer demand. Both CUC and Kingston-based Jamaica Energy Partners had tendered for the contract, based on CUC’s predictions only six months earlier that Cayman required the additional power by 2013.