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New Fortress Energy short-listed for PREPA temporary power generation bid

Liquified Natural Gas provider New Fortress Energy confirmed it has been put on the short-list of proponents participating in the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s temporary emergency generation RFP (Request for Proposals) released in March.

During a call with analysts to discuss its most recent quarterly results, New Fortress CEO Wesley R. Edens confirmed the company is in the running to participate in the contract to lease up to 500 megawatts of temporary generation capacity to the public corporation.

“The new business pipeline continues to be very robust. We’re shortlisted for the Puerto Rico temporary power RFP. We’re notified of that position on, I guess, late Saturday night or early Sunday,” Edens said.

Edens, who founded New Fortress Energy in 2014, told analysts that the temporary need for additional power responds to PREPA’s need to “cover the gap” for energy production resulting from the damage caused to the Costa Sur power plant in Guayanilla, which was knocked offline by the Jan. 6 earthquake in the southern region of the island.

“As they’re moving into the summer months, they’re obviously very keen to cover that gap so they don’t have a disruption of service as the summer months heat up. And even with a reduction of activity with COVID and less travel, they still have a significant deficit that they’re trying to cover,” Edens said.

“So that’s the industrial logic of the process that they’re on. What they’ve asked for specifically are offers on equipment, power equipment in various locations. And without being terribly specific about it, we have made offers on a number of those locations and feel like with the position that we’ve got and the infrastructure that’s in place, obviously, we’ve got a good standing in that competitive process,” he said.

Saying he’s “optimistic,” Edens confirmed that the winning bidder is expected to be notified sometime in “the next 10 days to two weeks or so.”

“So, we’ll see how it all plays out. But I think the good news is, for the Puerto Ricans, I think that there is a good solution and an economically very viable one for them. And we hope to be a big part of that solution form. So, we’ll find out soon,” Edens said.

San Juan terminal goes online
About a month ago, New Fortress Energy began running its natural gas delivery operation in Units 5 & 6 in the San Juan Bay, which is “complete and fully operational,” providing clean fuel to customers in Puerto Rico.

Brannen McElmurray, New Fortress’ chief development officer, said “our San Juan facility is a significant step toward our strategy to gasify Puerto Rico, providing a compelling option to transition permanently from diesel and HFO across the island.”

“We believe there’s a tremendous growth opportunity that’s highly complementary to PR’s strategic plan to modernize its power infrastructure. Over the past week, Units 5 and 6 have averaged over 620,000 gallons per day, and we’ve seen as high as 800,000 gallons per day as we continue to ramp up,” McElmurray said.

The San Juan facility has a four-bay truck loading system with a capacity for about 1 million gallons per day for delivery to industrial customers.

“We expect to serve our first customer in just a few weeks. And we’ll be adding to that such marquee names as Coca-Cola and others. Most significantly, though, the facility itself has significant additional built-in capacity to serve additional power demand that can be added over time,” the executive said, confirming the possibility of more investments down the road to accommodate additional demand.

“But as always, on the operational side, we continue and strive to improve. We’re looking at technology, how to implement technology, information technology, analyzing data and are just trying to get better and better at what we do,” he said.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

Comments (1)

  1. Many experts have reported that this unit could have been repaired in as little as 3 months however Prepa’s director has said from the beginning it would take over a year.Now they need to rent temporary units for millions. Wonder who’s pockets are getting lined?

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