Dr Bird I and II, Jamaica
Wärtsilä Corporation won a repeat order for a 49.5 MW power barge from the Caribbean island of Jamaica in April 2005. It joined the existing 74 MW Wärtsilä power barge delivered ten years before.
The new power barge was ordered by the independent power producer (IPP) Jamaica Energy Partners LLC under a turnkey contract.
Jamaica Energy Partners is a company controlled by the Latin Power Funds I and II. These funds, formerly known as the Scudder Latin America (SLAP) funds, are today managed by Conduit Capital Partners out of New York City. This deal constitutes the fourth transaction between the LP funds and Wärtsilä throughout the course of a successful twelve-year relationship.
The new barge is equipped with three generating sets, each driven by a Wärtsilä 18V46 engine. The barge is provided with all necessary ancillary equipment for independent operation, including treatment plant for the heavy fuel oil used by the engines and a 138 kV electrical substation.
The barge was constructed and outfitted in Singapore. Delivery of the barge to Jamaica took place in December 2005, just 12 months after the contract was signed. The barge is located in Old Harbour, Jamaica.
The generating plant has a gross output of 51 MW, giving a net output from the barge of 49.5 MW. The electrical power is fed into the distribution grid of the utility company Jamaica Public Service Co Ltd.
The earlier 74 MW power barge, ‘Dr Bird’, was delivered to Jamaica in 1994. It is equipped with eight Wärtsilä 12V46 generating sets. It is also operated by Jamaica Energy Partners. The success and reliability of this power barge, together with the after-sales support from Wärtsilä’s Caribbean office in Puerto Rico, were important factors in securing the contract for the new power barge.
The new power barge provides greater cost efficiency than the existing power barge. Not only do the newer-generation engines have a lower fuel consumption than the older engines but they also have increased power output.
Valuable support for the new contract was provided by Clico Investment Bank of Trinidad and Tobago which arranged bridging financing for the project in a relatively short time.