CCU approves $14 million for conversion of Piti power plants

(file photo)

The Consolidated Commission on Utilities has approved the conversion of its slow speed diesel Piti power plants to enable them to burn the more efficient and more environmentally friendly ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.

Approved was Resolution No. 2021-01, which specifically covers Guam Power Authority’s Piti #8 and #9 power plants that are under a Consent Decree in federal court.

The Consent Decree mandates GPA to contract for the conversion of the units to burn ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) to comply with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s national emission standards.

According to GPA, the project provides a technical solution that will eliminate the sulphur oxide emissions of the power plants and comply with the Consent Decree and new USEPA rules.

The conversion of the Piti 8 & 9 units is also deemed critical for system reliability until the new power plant is commissioned and goes online.

The estimated cost of the conversion project is about $14.14 million. It will be funded from the insurance proceeds that GPA got from its Cabras payouts.

MEC, the contractor for the conversion project, estimates the full conversion to be completed within 15 months after contract signing.

The two Piti plants provide up to 88 megawatts to the island’s total power capacity. Thus, they are crucial to ensuring that GPA is able to provide the required energy for the island between now and the commissioning of the new 198-MW Ukudu Power Plant, which has been delayed because of COVID-19 and the permitting process.

The Consent Decree stipulated that GPA contract for the conversion of the Piti units to burn ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) by July 1, 2020, and for full conversion to ULSD-firing by December 31, 2021.