A large portion of VINLEC’s annual budget is typically assigned to capital projects. While primarily undertaken by the engineering division all other departments within the organisation undertake projects at one time or another. These projects serve to enhance the company’s ongoing operations through plant expansion, renewal and rehabilitation, facilities upkeep, technical studies and research, information technology development, hazard and disaster risk mitigation, work process improvement, energy efficiency improvement, and customer services improvement.
At any point in time there are several capital projects being undertaken at VINLEC many of which represent significant investments on the part of the organisation. As such, VINLEC engages in project management training for its supervisors and managers and has created staff positions relating specifically to the coordination of key capital projects. There is also a focus on staff training so that many aspects of project implementation can be done in-house. This promotes improved project cost management and personnel capacity building.
At present, projects being undertaken by the company include the following:
- Rehabilitation of the Union Island Power Station
- Rehabilitation of the South Rivers and Richmond hydropower plants
- Fire protection enhancement
- Large scale solar power installations
- Corporate information management improvement
- Customer metering improvement
- Expansion of office space at the Corporate Headquarters
- Research into LED street lighting
VINLEC Document Management Project
Information TechnologyThe VINLEC document management system would be used to facilitate the capture, electronic storage, and efficient retrieval of much of the documentation that VINLEC deals with on a day-to-day basis including e-mail, invoices, drawings, letters, memos, reports etc. It entails the utilization of hardware and software solutions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of information management within the company.The project commenced in 2012 and should be completed in 2014.
St. Vincent Power System Study
The St. Vincent Power System Study was started during the third quarter of 2010. The first aspect of the study, i.e. the Demand Forecast, was completed by VINLEC in 2012. In early 2013 an engineering consulting firm was hired to complete the study. Their assignment includes a review of VINLEC’s Demand Forecast, a generation plant assessment, a T&D infrastructure assessment, the preparation of generation and T&D expansion plans, and the investigation of options for expansion of renewable energy use. The deliverables of the consultancy are an Interim Report, a Draft Final Report and a Final Report.
The project should be completed by mid 2014.
Cane Hall Stores Building Photovoltaic System
Cane Hall Stores Building
In July 2013 a 177kW photovoltaic system was commissioned at the Cane Hall Stores Building. At the time of its completion it was the largest such system in the OECS. System design, procurement and project management were handled by VINLEC Engineers and installation was done by VINLEC electricians and an external civil contractor.
It is anticipated that the photovoltaic system would produce in the region of 250,000 units of “green” energy each year for the benefit of all of the company’s customers.
VINLEC Photovoltaic System Installations 2014
In 2014 VINLEC plans to install 360kW of photovoltaic capacity at various sites throughout St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Potential locations for these photovoltaic systems are the roofs of some VINLEC buildings, the grounds of power station compounds, and the roofs of some public buildings.
On completion these photovoltaic systems would produce in the region of 500,000 units of “green” energy each year for the benefit of all of the company’s customers.
VINLEC Corporate Headquarters Annex Building
The construction of the 4,500 square foot Corporate Headquarters Annex Building commenced in January of 2013. As of the end of December 2013 the building was 70% completed with the remainder of the work to be done by the second quarter of 2014. The building will house staff from the Customer Service, Human Resources & Administration, Information Systems, and Internal Audit departments.