MEC pushes stalled projects

MEC’s aging tank farm in Delap, which will benefit from an ADB-funded renovation and improvement project. Photo: Tyler Milne.

The Marshalls Energy Company is aiming to move two big energy-related projects forward that have been stalled for months by Covid travel restrictions.

A special humanitarian flight organized by the United Nations at the request of the RMI government is in the process of being scheduled for the end of May — although because of the current Covid outbreak in Fiji, the government this week announced a one-month delay in the flight to Majuro.

Two teams of engineers and managers to support energy projects in the RMI are scheduled to be on the flight when it happens.

MEC has been going through a long process of bidding the work for renovating its aging tank farm next to the power plants in Delap. “We are currently finalizing the bid evaluation (for the tank farm work),” MEC General Manager Jack Chong Gum told the Journal. “We are hoping to get the necessary approvals for a contract award sometime next month.”

In support of the tank farm work, which is funded through an Asian Development Bank grant, three expert consultants are expected to come into RMI on the UN flight.

A second team of a project manager and three engineers is coming on the same flight in support of a World Bank-funded solar and power plant generators project, said Chong Gum.

“They will be here for at least several months to finalize their design,” he said. This includes generator locations, battery energy storage system, photovoltaic (PV) solar panel structures, cable size to support new PV system, and other aspects of the major solar-to-grid program that will move forward.

The solar-to-grid program will place solar panels over the airport reservoirs, on top of government buildings including schools, and on roof structures to be constructed over sports facilities in the downtown area — all connected to the MEC electricity grid.

All of the inbound technical personnel will go through quarantine and Covid testing prior to starting work.

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