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Clifton Pier diesel power station, Bahamas

We have been assisting in power station development in the Bahamas for over 30 years – most notably acting as owner’s engineer for Clifton Pier diesel power station on New Providence Island.

Close-up of the diesel plant
Clifton Pier, New Providence
Clifton Pier, New Providence Since 1979 we have been providing owner’s engineer services for a number of low speed diesel developments at the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC)’s power plant at Clifton Pier. The total number and unit rating have been 4 x 10MW, 2 x 30MW and 2 x 31.5MW units.

Good experienced site staff supported by daily contact with head office discipline engineers ensured that our role of owner’s engineer was successful and we were able to forestall and resolve technical issues before they could cause undue delay.

Key facts

We provided owner’s engineer services to the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) for various phases of the installation of low speed diesel engine power plant at Clifton Pier: 3 x 10MW units in 1983; 1 x 10MW unit in 1990; 2 x 30MW units in 1992; 1 x 30MW unit in 1999; and 1x 32MW unit in 2004 (Phase III).

Our services included:

  • Feasibility studies

  • Load growth forecasting studies

  • Planting sequence optimisation

  • Planning and environmental studies

  • Tender documentation

  • Award of contracts

  • Project management

  • Engineering design review

  • Site supervision services

We also completed the detailed civil, structural, mechanical and electrical building services design for some phases of the overall development. The capital cost of Phase III was US$36.9 million.


  • The underlying rock on which the site is based is Calcarenite, a porous weak type of material. This required a large sub-foundation to be installed on which the foundation proper for the engine will be constructed. Due to the proximity of the site to the sea and the porosity of the rock, any large excavation on site filled up with seawater.
  • Structural steel delivered to site was inadequately prepared for final painting and mill scale in evidence.
  • Scuffing of engine cylinders caused disruption of reliability trial.


  • A solution was derived by which the concrete pour for the sub-foundation was carried out using a tremie pipe to lay the concrete at the bottom of the foundation pit and, working upwards, gradually displaces the water.
  • We had the contractor sand blast and repaint all structural steel on site. The steel was then acceptable for painting and construction.
  • Following our team’s advice, the engine was stripped and re-assembled to run at 85% load for about five months. The contractor then carried out modifications to the engine cooling water system which resulted in the successful completion of the reliability trial.

Values and benefits

Our team raised workforce awareness of health and safety, paying detailed attention to health and safety measures - particularly with regard to wearing safety helmets and sun-protective clothing. Safety was top of the agenda for all site meetings. During the three-year site phase, there was only one lost time accident and six non-injury accidents.

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