BEC Chairman Leslie Miller
By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
RESIDENTS across New Providence can expect load shedding this week as the Bahamas Electricity Corporation grapples with power generation issues, according Executive Chairman Leslie Miller.
In an interview with The Tribune yesterday, Mr Miller said the corporation installed 40 extra megawatts of power two weeks ago but that has proven not to be enough.
He said BEC’s board of directors recommended to management that 60 megawatts of power be installed, but Mr Miller said management refused to listen to the advice because “everyone on the board is on their way out”.
He said the shortfall caused power outages island wide.
Some residents in east and west New Providence reported power outages lasting for hours over the weekend, with some complaining of power cuts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“We recommended that they get at least 60 megawatts. We insisted, but because of our imminent departure they ignored our requests,” Mr Miller said when contacted.
“The board made these decisions and nothing was happening so we leave them to their own devices. It is unfortunate but I cannot apologise any more, that is their job now. As soon as the new contract is signed, a new board will be appointed. We have done an excellent job and done more in the history of BEC than any other board, but now management isn’t listening to us. Even with the new generators we are still having problems at BEC. Three engines were down at Blue Hills and two at Clifton, so we had and will continue to have a lot of issues.”
Mr Miller said he has no idea when the contract between Power Secure and the government is expected to be finalised but he heard “the deal will be sealed in a matter of weeks.”
When asked if he expects to be appointed to another board, Mr Miller said he heard rumours that he will be moved to one of three government corporations but he is “not sure” if he will take another board position or return to his private business.
At the end of April, the government announced it had selected American company PowerSecure International as the new management company for BEC, giving it a five-year contract to oversee generation and transmission/distribution.
According to an internal memo from BEC General Manager Kevin Basden, obtained by The Tribune, a new board of directors will be selected to “assist in negotiating with PowerSecure to bring to fruition a management contract in the best interest of all parties.”
The memo, which was distributed to BEC management on May 1, said “in the meantime, BEC will continue to function under its existing executive management team.”
During his tenure as chairman, Mr Miller has been involved in a series of controversial incidents, including public spats with BEC’s union leaders, and the revelation that he and his family-owned business owed BEC more than $100,000.