Nearly 12 million gallons of diesel fuel are needed each year to operate the stations on Tortola and Anegada that power the territory, according to BVI Electricity Corporation General Manager Dr. Neil Smith.
On Friday, bids were opened from two companies hoping to secure contracts with the BVIEC to supply that fuel for the next three years.
The companies — Delta Petroleum and Sol — also submitted quotes for supplying lubricating oil and removing waste oil. A third company — LVP Trading — bid only for supplying, delivering and removing lubricating oil for the Anegada station.
“The engines run on fuel, so every few years we have to tender with the fuel companies to allow them to give us the price of the fuel,” Dr. Smith told the Beacon on Tuesday.
Dr. Smith opened the bids and read them aloud on Friday during a ceremony that was broadcast online.
Other BVIEC employees were also present, along with representatives from the bidders. To power the Pockwood Pond station between the years 2023 and 2026, Delta bid $135,021,600.
In comparison, Sol quoted $132,195,000.
Delta also bid $1,002,946 to power the Anegada power station during those years, while Sol offered a price of $1,186,472. For the same period, Delta also quoted $2,078,760 for providing lubricating oil and $2.75 per gallon for the removal of waste oil. Sol quoted $1,321,950 and $2.95 per gallon, respectively, for the same services.
“When we put the oil in the engines, we change them every couple thousand of hours, and we have to dispose of that oil,” Dr. Smith told the Beacon. “We store the oil in drums and give it to the vendor, who will dispose of it. They will most likely transport it out of the country.”
Meanwhile, LVP Trading bid $860,400 to supply, deliver and remove lubrication oil to the Anegada power station for three years.
Dr. Smith said the current contracts for all the oil supplies end late this year, and he added that another public meeting will be held when the winning bids are chosen.
Price isn’t the only thing that matters in the selection process, according to Dr. Smith. Other considerations include the reserves the companies have on hand; how quickly they can deliver; the type and quality of fuel they’re offering; and the support and logistics available, he said.