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WAPA Announces Vitol Hires Local Contractor for Initial Phase of LPG Conversion Project

(Tuesday, February 04, 2014)

February 4, 2014

WAPA Announces Vitol Hires Local Contractor for Initial Phase of LPG Conversion Project

The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority today announced that Vitol Virgin Islands Corporation (Vitol) has hired a local contractor for the initial phase of the LPG conversion project.

At a recent Governing Board meeting, Richard Elliot, Onsite Project Manager with Vitol, assured the board members that Vitol is committed to producing a quality project and assured them that the majority of the workforce, to include contractors, administrative staff and support staff, will be hired locally. “The local component will be as high as possible,” said Elliott, “and my team will be minimal to bring people from outside the islands.”

Vitol has remained consistent with its commitment. After a thorough evaluation process, Vitol recently announced the selection of GRADE ALL, a locally owned and operated Virgin Islands contractor, for the initial phase of work on the LPG conversion project. GRADE ALL will perform the demolition, site clearance and earthworks at WAPA’s facilities on St. Croix and St. Thomas.

Vitol conducted an initial independent evaluation of local contractors to determine which of them had the necessary capabilities, project guarantees and expertise to perform this phase of the work. At the conclusion of their initial evaluation, Vitol shortlisted GRADE ALL and two other local contractors for further consideration after having met the selection criteria. The shortlisted contractors were invited to participate in a sealed bid tender process directly under the control and management of Vitol. As part of this process, Vitol mandated each contractor confirm its commitment to make use of the local labor force to the maximum extent possible.

After the tender evaluations, which focused primarily on safety, quality, schedule and pricing, Vitol awarded the contract to GRADE-ALL to perform the demolition, site clearance and earthworks at WAPA’s facilities on St. Croix and St. Thomas.

To date Vitol has committed approximately 54% of the project budget which is $91 million. “Vitol continues to demonstrate their commitment to this conversion project,” said WAPA Executive Director Hodge V. Hodge, Jr., “not only financially but by keeping their word to ensure this project includes the local labor force.” He noted that this further demonstrates Vitol’s intention to meet their obligations to the partnership.

The project, which entails building the infrastructure, converting seven (7) of WAPA’s GE turbines to burn propane, as well as supplying propane, is expected to reduce WAPA’s fuel cost by approximately 30%, which will be realized by ratepayers. The project will also reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by approximately 20%. Savings to WAPA’s customers is expected to stimulate the territory’s economy by giving consumers more money in their pockets and by releasing capital to create jobs.

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