Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations
Two years after the ground breaking ceremony for the Phase V Power Development Programme, the British Virgin Islands now has an increased electricity supply of 57.5 megawatts (MW) to serve the current 34 MW demand of the Territory.
On May 4, the Government of the Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) commemorated the completion of the programme, a $35 million investment.
Speaking at the power station in Pockwood Pond, Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool said that Government facilitated the completion of the “very important development” via the authorisation of the $35 million loan.
Honourable Vanterpool also said the Territory has come a long way from the various outages that were very frequent due to many issues with the old generators.
General Manager of the BVIEC, Mr. Leroy Abraham said, “We’re moving to become one of the most technologically advanced electric utilities globally, and one which all residents of the BVI can be proud of because our Territory’s infrastructure must be world class.”
Mr. Abraham said that although the reserve capacity is greater than the demand, there is no guarantee against outages, as many factors, including natural disasters, animal incidents and motor vehicle accidents involving electricity poles, can cause outages.
Pockwood Pond Power Station renamed
Persons also gathered to commemorate the renaming of the Pockwood Pond Power Station to the Henry Wilfred Smith Power Station.
Honourable Vanterpool told attendees: “Freddie is remembered by his colleagues over the years as one who was always willing to pass on his knowledge, even as he sought to learn more about the job himself. This is very commendable and an attribute that we can all adopt ourselves.”
In his response, Honouree, Mr. Henry Wilfred “Freddie” Smith said, “I did what I did because I enjoyed doing it and I must say I never had anything like this in my mind.”
Freddie Smith’s association with electricity in the Territory goes back to 1965, at the Government’s Electricity, Ice and Cold Storage Department.
Mr. Smith started out as a Mechanic and worked as a Mechanic Foreman, Technical Officer V, Supervisor, Assistant Superintendent, Generation Superintendent, Generation Engineer and Electrical Supervisor. The last position he held before retiring from the British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation was Plant Manager.
For more information about the ceremony or to view video updates on the Phase V Power Development programme, visit the Government’s YouTube and Facebook page (@BVIGovernment).
- Audio clip of Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool at BVIEC’s Handing Over and Renaming Ceremony
- Audio clip of General Manager of the BVIEC, Mr. Leroy Abraham at BVIEC’s Handing Over and Renaming Ceremony
- Audio clip of Honouree, Mr. Henry Wilfred “Freddie” Smith at BVIEC’s Handing Over and Renaming Ceremony
- BVIEC Fact Sheet