An APR Energy generation unit at the Harley Power Plant in St. Thomas By APR
ST. THOMAS — APR Energy has announced that effective Wednesday afternoon, it will suspend power generation services to the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority following a default in payments. WAPA is said to owe APR millions of dollars.
"APR Energy has been reliably and successfully providing the citizens of St. Thomas with electricity for over eight years, so it is with regret APR Energy announces the suspension of its operations effective Wednesday, March 11, 2020," the company said in a release provided to the Consortium Tuesday morning.
"APR Energy has been dedicated to the mission of generating electricity to the St. Thomas’s power grid since 2013. The APR Energy generators augment and provide critical back-up to the aging WAPA generators in the Harley Randolph power plant. Unfortunately, WAPA has not made its contractually required payments for many months," the firm added.
For weeks rumors have circulated that APR Energy has retained subcontractors, vehicles, security and other equipment and personnel to begin the demobilization of its generation units from the Harley Power Plant.
WAPA is expected to revert to two older, less efficient generation units that use oil.
The authority's debt to its suppliers continues to mount: It owes Trafigura Trading, LLC $24 million; Trafigura has since stopped supplying WAPA. The authority moved to Glencore, which WAPA owes about $10 million. But with the minimum capacity of oil to make it a viable business venture for Glencore far exceeding WAPA's needs, the relationship between the firm and WAPA has waned and is winding down, according to people familiar with the matter.
An APR Energy representative stated, “It has been an extraordinary honor to work for the people of St. Thomas and we appreciate the hospitality the citizens and communities have provided to us while here on the island. We are hopeful that WAPA will quickly pay their past due invoices and APR Energy can resume power generation.”