Virgin Islands utility receives permit for propane project

January 21, 2016 By    

The U.S. Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) received a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that will allow it to continue an LP gas project at the Randolph Harley Power Plant on St. Thomas and develop an offshore vessel mooring, according to the public-power utility.

WAPA has been working to move away from oil for power generation and toward propane since 2013 in an effort to reduce electricity costs. Hugo V. Hodge Jr., WAPA executive director, says the utility initially applied for the permit in 2013. He says the permit allows WAPA to improve and convert the site so St. Thomas can use LP gas as the primary fuel source for power generation.

“All components of the marine work that had been dependent on the permit approval will now move forward,” Hodge says. “Some of the work to be done includes the development of a permanent mooring for the very large gas carrier.”

Hodge anticipates the work on the LP gas project and the offshore vessel mooring will be completed in April. If deadlines are met, he says the site will be fully operational by the end of the second quarter this year.

“This major undertaking of the LP gas conversion project has far-reaching effects on the economy of the Virgin Islands and WAPA’s customers,” Hodge says in a press release. “It has become a source of much attention by energy companies and utilities not only in the Caribbean but across the world.”

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