WAPA approves new software system for maintanence program
Published: October 17, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Water and Power Authority board approved a computerized system Wednesday to help the utility better manage its maintenance program.
The $592,606.69 contract is with Total Resource Management to develop and implement the Maximo 7.5 Computerized Maintenance Management system.
The new system will increase efficiency and save money for WAPA, according to WAPA Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr.
WAPA already uses an older version of the Maximo system, and this would be an upgrade, Hodge said.
The new system will allow WAPA to accurately track labor, inventory and costs associated with maintaining the utility's assets.
It will track maintenance and performance history of the generating units, help to anticipate parts and labor needed and streamline the way the utility's purchasing, inventory and maintenance systems interact.
The first phase of the new system would go live in January.
The board also amended the contract with the Vitol Group to add WAPA as a party in the agreement.
WAPA signed a contract with Vitol in July to convert the utility's oil-fired power generators to use propane, a cheaper fuel source.
Hodge said Wednesday that the change does not affect the money or cost of the contract, it simply gives WAPA more control. It will ensure that warranties for the new equipment are given to the utility, not just the contractor.
"We wanted to have more say and involvement, so we want to be party to the contract to have more control," Hodge said.
Under the contract, WAPA will pay about $86 million for the next seven years to Vitol to build storage terminal facilities at the St. Thomas and St. Croix plants and to upgrade eight turbines to use liquefied petroleum gas - also known as propane.
The move should save WAPA about $90 million annually and lower rates for consumers, according Hodge.
Vitol's deadline for building terminals and infrastructure upgrades is Oct. 31, 2014.
WAPA will use about 250,000 tons of propane annually.
- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.