FREEPORT, Bahamas, – Grand Bahama Utility Company Ltd. is partnering with Grand Bahama Shipyard, Bahama Rock, Bahama Industrial Technologies (BIT) and other businesses to help accelerate the return of critical fresh-water services to businesses and residents in some sectors of Grand Bahama Island following hurricane Dorian’s impact early September.
Grand Bahama Utility Company suffered damage to its critical systems and has been working systematically on efforts to inspect, test, repair and restore all necessary equipment to resume regular water service from its plant, which extracts and purifies water from the well fields. The ongoing process to restore equipment is enabling the “re-charging” of pipes zone by zone on the island.
Understanding the importance of a consistent water supply for the community, Grand Bahama Shipyard, with the commitment of shareholders Carnival Corporation & plc, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Grand Bahama Port Authority, assisted in providing power generation restoration to the utility, sending shipyard technicians to help recharge the water plant and pipes, and repairing and replacing electric motors and pumps, which is accelerating the return of water services.
“We recognize the critical importance of restarting fresh water supply to homes and businesses across Grand Bahama Island,” said Geron Turnquest, general manager for Grand Bahama Utility Company.
“We started distribution to the Freeport Area moving west from Water Plants number one and six. We have supplied several areas with water for ‘Sanitary Purposes Only,’ and we aim to provide service out to West End. Thanks to the assistance from Grand Bahama Shipyard, Bahama Rock, BIT and others, we have been able to accelerate repairs to our equipment and start resuming basic services. The utility company is conducting assessments for areas located towards East End and others requiring service. We are inviting more help in this regard, and we hope to build and provide a stronger, better utility service as we work together to rebuild, restore, and recover.”
“We are all residents of Grand Bahama, we are all in this recovery together, and we know how crucial it is to have basic services like water supply restored as quickly as possible,” said Marvin Basden, head of health, safety, security, environment and quality for Grand Bahama Shipyard. “Fortunately, we were able to provide support with critical equipment and technical assistance to our friends at the utility company, and we know how important it is to be able to help quickly restore water services to Grand Bahama, while at the same time, supporting other recovery work across the island.”
Grand Bahama Shipyard’s employees are supporting multiple recovery efforts, including the distribution of essential aid by The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), providing mobile light and power generation equipment to East Grand Bahama and creating “flying squads” of shipyard volunteers to assist where needed, including a 40-person team sent to clean up and clear debris from six impacted schools, ensuring the buildings and classrooms are clean and safe for the return of students.
With the arrival of its first commercial vessel for repair work, the shipyard announced it had resumed operations, and another vessel is expected this week. Planning remains on track for the next planned cruise ship dry-dock, Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Ecstasy, on October 5. The ongoing work by the shipyard and its employees, along with its partners and suppliers, will continue to generate important and sustained economic activity for the surrounding area of Grand Bahama.
Founded in 2000, Grand Bahama Shipyard is a leader in dry-docking, afloat repairs, refurbishments refits and revitalizations for vessels from the cruise, commercial and offshore segments of the maritime industry.
With a strategic location along major shipping routes, Grand Bahama Shipyard schedules 85-100 drydocks each year, including more than two dozen major cruise ship drydocks annually.