Categorized | National News

Davis: BPL To Purchase New Generators

Deputy Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis said Bahamas Power and Light will purchase a series of new generators in a bid to combat the recent string of power outages that have plagued various communities in The Bahamas.

During his contribution to the 2016/2017 budget debate in the House of Assembly, Mr. Davis spoke about the government’s plans for energy reform and plans to make the current system much more efficient.

“As BPL moves toward its objective, 80 megawatts of temporary rental units will be deployed to Blue Hills to meet interim needs while Clifton Pier assets are upgraded and new capacity is installed.

“Given the frequent and inconvenient power outages in New Providence, this is an urgent requirement.

“For the Family Islands, PowerSecure’s plan expands to replacing inefficient generators with high-efficiency generators, enhancing the capacity for emergency preparedness, and introducing solar capacity, beginning at Long Cay, Crooked Island and Salina Point, Acklins,” Mr. Davis said.

Mr. Davis said that consumers are already experiencing much lower electricity bills thanks in large part to initiatives put in place by BPL.

“By our Charter, we committed to initiate a plan to lower the cost of electricity in The Bahamas.  Not only did we initiate that plan, we delivered.

“For an example, I bring to you the situation of one of my staff members.  Up to 2010, she was able to run a central air conditioning unit in her home.  After that, electricity costs became so high that she had to discontinue use of her central unit.

“By 2012, she was paying up to $800 per month for electricity without central air conditioning. $800 per month the same staff member came to me last week to say that she got her electricity bill.  Her bill was $133.69.  She said that she called the company to verify that it was in fact her full bill.  From $800 a month to $133.69,” Mr. Davis said.

Davis added that BPL will introduce a more effective and efficient system to make the company more self sustainable as well as possible debt relief system for consumers.

“PowerSecure proposes an organisational structure in which BPL’s CEO will be supported by direct reports responsible for administration, legal and regulatory affairs, customer service, operations and generation, and finance and accounting.

“The business plan will position BPL as a fully stand-alone, self-sustainable entity.  The rate reduction bond will allow BPL to start life debt free and will further remove the $240 million guarantee from the government’s debt burden.

“BPL plans to seek an additional $100 million of debt financing in FY2017/2018 to fund subsequent phases of its plan and anticipates that BPL will be able to realise favourable terms due to its significantly improved creditworthiness, with a target rating of at least BBB (S&P) and A (Fitch).

Mr. Davis said BPL expects to be able to fund all other operations and initiatives through cash flows and meet about half of the capital expenditure from the profitability and introduce a debt relief for system for persons with extremely high electricity bills.

Responding to comments made by former BEC Chairman Leslie Miller who said after leaving meeting with new BPL Chairman Pam Hill he was unimpressed with the company’s plans, Mr. Davis said Mr. Miller’s basis was unfounded.

PowerSecure signed a five-year management services agreement with the government to run BPL, the Bahamas Electricity Corporation’s newly-created operating subsidiary, on February 9.






Written by Jones Bahamas

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