During a meeting held Thursday, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Board of Directors elected as chairman Department of Property and Procurement Commissioner Anthony D. Thomas, seen above. Noel Loftus was elected as vice-chairman, while Juanita Young was re-nominated to serve as board secretary. The governing board members include: Mr. Thomas, Mr. Loftus, Ms. Young, Gerald T. Groner, Hubert Turnbull, Cheryl Boynes Jackson, Elizabeth Armstrong, Energy Office Director Kyle Fleming, and Bureau of Internal Revenue Director Joel Lee.
In regular action, the board approved a $3.7 million contract to facilitate completion of the second phase of the Frederiksted Water Line Rehabilitation project. Once completed, the project will significantly improve water quality to customers on the west end of the island and reduce line loss the authority currently experiences as a result of aging pipelines, WAPA said.
The contract is with Leumas Engineering and calls for completion within an eight month period. WAPA’s Water Division was awarded a grant under the territory’s Drinking Water Capital Improvement grant program in addition to funding by the V.I. Public Finance Authority to complete the rehabilitation of the water infrastructure in Frederiksted Town. The first phase consisted of the rehabilitation of pipelines and associated equipment from New Street to Strand Street. The second phase encompasses similar work on Queen Cross Street, King Cross Street, Hill Street, Hospital Street, New Street, King Street, Queen Street, Market Street, and Customs House Street.
In other action, the board approved an operating expense budget for the Water Division of $27.8 million, and a capital budget of $14.2 million. The board will consider the Electric System’s operating and capital budgets during meetings in August.
Other approvals included:
- Compensation of $350,000 to Wartsila for downtime during the LPG commissioning of two rental generators. The funding also provides for the final paving of the general areas around the Wartsila power plant in accordance with requirements of WAPA’s various operating permits.
- A no-cost contract extension with West Peak Energy. The company is providing management services on the final phase of the installation of new generating units at the Harley Power Plant. The contract was extended to November 15, 2019.
- Rescinding a previous contract award to Wartsila for the expansion of generation capacity at the Randolph Harley Power Plant and the reissuance of a request for proposals. WAPA will re-bid the project to ensure that federal government procurement standards are complied with.
- A $64,225.24 increase in a contract with Texas based Iv-AGA. The company has developed a detailed engineering design and request for proposals package as part of a planned upgrade of the two power plant’s fire protection systems.
- Payment to Fabien’s Trucking for transportation and equipment services between March 2018 and May 2019 in the St. Thomas – St. John district. Fabien’s Trucking is working on various hazard mitigation projects.
- Issuance of a contract to BDO USA to audit the Authority’s financial statements for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years. The contracts are capped at $325,000 in FY 2019 and $330,000 in FY2020, and also includes certain out of pocket and travel expenditures.
In his monthly report, Executive Director / CEO Lawrence J. Kupfer informed board members that at both power plants, a significant portion of the power demand is being met with smaller, propane fueled, efficient generating units. “On St. Thomas, three Wartsila units are providing about 50% of the power generation in the district, while the Aggreko units on St. Croix are satisfying about two-thirds of the power demand. These units represent the future look of WAPA: fuel efficient, smaller, generating units using LPG as a primary fuel source.”