BELCO: ‘Have Been Working To Eradicate Issues’

June 27, 2023 | 3 Comments

“We have been working to eradicate the fallout issues and odours that have been experienced by our neighbours since the commissioning of the NPS and taking a systematic and calculated approach to resolving the issues,” BELCO said.

BELCO President Wayne Caines said, “At BELCO, our entire team cares about the challenges our neighbours have faced since the commissioning of the North Power Station [NPS]. Our staff are also a part of this community and are committed to reducing our operational impact whilst providing a safe, reliable supply of electricity for Bermuda.

“Our Occupational Health, Safety & Environment [OHSE] team meets and communicates with our neighbours regularly which allows us to gain a better understanding of the impact our operations may have on their properties. We work hard to ensure that our relationship allows for them to express any concerns directly, openly, and honestly – and we take reports of our impacts extremely seriously.

“We have been working to eradicate the fallout issues and odours that have been experienced by our neighbours since the commissioning of the NPS and taking a systematic and calculated approach to resolving the issues.

“Operational investigations into stack soot emissions commenced in June, 2020 and indicated the NPS engines were suffering from improper combustion on startups. The unburnt fuel formed black flakes that were being emitted. Various hypotheses were discussed between BELCO, the builder of the NPS and the engine manufacturer. All parties have been working together on remedial actions in a phased approach which are aimed to address the low compression and combustion pressures associated with the engines, while ensuring reliable power to the island.

“Phase one was the installation of shims on all four NPS engines and was caried out between Q4 2020 and Q2 2021. This phase resulted in significant improvements and substantial reduction in soot flakes. However, there remained smaller, unburnt particulate matter during engine operation.

“Phase two saw the installation of piston crowns on all four NPS engines and was carried out between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022. This adjustment resulted in further improvements to the size and frequency of the fallouts observed following project completion.

“Phase three began in Q1 of this year and relates to engine startup procedures and governor setting changes. The new engine operating protocol reduces the amount of fuel injected during start-up, which will result in the reduction of soot buildup in the exhaust over time. It is anticipated that the reduction in soot buildup will equate to a reduction in fallout incidents experienced by our neighbours. This phase has been completed and the improvements are already showing.

“Work on Phase four will begin in Q3 of this year and will see the installation of a dryer skid before the end of the year. The dryer skid will remove moisture from the combustion process and further reduce soot fallout from the NPS exhaust stack.

“In addition to this phased approach, BELCO has also adjusted operational procedures whereby light fuel oil is used when starting an NPS engine and returning it to service. This has resulted in a reduction in particulate matter during start-up and a reduction in impacts experienced by area residents.

“Some of our neighbours occasionally experience odours due to the downdrafting affect. This experience should be improved even further as the phased engine remediation plan continues to progress. However, we continue to monitor the wind patterns and make adjustments to our operations as necessary to reduce these experiences.

“It is important to note that BELCO continually monitors their impact to the environment through ambient air quality measuring sites in Pembroke. This testing of emissions from the exhaust stacks provides data to ensure BELCO operations are operating within the Bermuda standards.

“Further to engine and operational modifications, BELCO has also been working on remedial actions in a phased approach which are aimed to address odours on Cemetery Road and St. John’s Road.

“Phase one involved activated carbon filters being installed on the vents of fuel and sludge tanks between Q2 and Q4 2021 which resulted in a significant reduction in odour complaints.

“Phase two will see the installation of a more responsive temperature control system on the sludge tank which will prevent excessive temperatures and associated odour generation. This remedial action is currently being carried out with completion expected later this year.

“Phase three is currently being carried out in response to odour mitigation challenges on tank vents for fuel separators. Alternative routing and reconfiguration of the pipework is being evaluated by our team and is expected to be completed in Q4 of this year.

“Phase four involves operational adjustments to minimise activities that can create odours associated with processing oil and water in the sludge tank. This phase is also currently ongoing with completion expected in Q4 of this year.

“The team at BELCO is committed to exploring and implementing all possible solutions that have been identified, no matter how many steps it takes, to ensure that the soot fallout and odours are eradicated at the source. Each step takes time while also ensuring a systematic approach to protect the island’s reliable electricity supply.

“In addition to the dialogue we have with our neighbours, BELCO has also engaged a team of experts who are dedicated to taking a proactive approach to monitoring the environmental impacts of our operations in order to identify any possible issues. Trusted third-party experts also ensure that our team’s findings, data, testing, and monitoring methods are following best practices. This is important because remedies must be guided by scientific data.

“Should our neighbours experience any impacts, we encourage them to notify us as soon as possible by filling out the form available on our website or emailing

“Please rest assured that our neighbours’ concerns are our concerns. We take them seriously and we will continue to share information, to communicate and listen. I want to thank our neighbours and the community for their patience while we work to continuously improve our operations and reduce our operational impacts.”

Read More About

Category: All, Business, News, technology

Comments (3)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Kim Smith says:

    Can we get comments from those residents affected by Belco’s fallout to see if they agree with what is being said about efforts to reduce/eliminate the impact on them?

  2. Trufth says:

    I don’t believe a word coming out of this man’s mouth.

    We truly are a 3rd world country. This is beyond unacceptable. Where are the lawsuits? Are you all waiting for cancer to get you 5 years from now and THEN try to litigate yourselves well? Good luck proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that your cancer is a direct result of this.

  3. LOL - the real one says:

    Wayne is in charge. What could possibly go wrong?
    Is there anyone in Bermuda who has a more awesome-looking beard? Awesome!

Leave a Reply