Official Opposition Leader Philip 'Brave' Davis.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
DEPUTY Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis yesterday announced that PowerSecure has received approval from the government to officially assume management control of Bahamas Power and Light, which now operates as the Bahamas Electrical Corporation.
PowerSecure will officially sign a management services agreement with the government “imminently”, he said in the House of Assembly.
After a lengthy and complex process, the Christie administration last year chose PowerSecure, a publicly traded company with $300m in total assets, to manage the struggling utility provider.
The Christie administration’s attempts to reform BEC and the country’s energy sector has been one of its most ambitious pursuits. It has the potential to fundamentally transform the corporation, which has long been characterised by debt, poor service and inefficiency.
Mr Davis, who is also the minister of works, said PowerSecure will not cut staff in the near future, although he did not rule out the possibility that this will eventually take place.
“If there are to be any (redundancies) this will be done over time in a manner that is fully open with key stakeholders and employees themselves,” he said.
As manager of BPL, PowerSecure will have responsibility for all “electricity generation, transmission and distribution, procurement, and customer service,” Mr Davis said.
PowerSecure will improve services by improving existing assets, Mr Davis said, adding that it will also “introduce new highly efficient dual fuel engines with lower carbon dioxide impact at Clifton Pier.”
It will reduce the corporation’s dependency on expensive fuel by “improving fuel mix and engine efficiency” while also introducing solar energy systems to reduce fuel usage and transportation costs.
“It also aims to improve customer experience with expanded communication and payment options and introduction of prepaid services,” Mr Davis said.
While BEC currently loses $20m - $30m a year, PowerSecure will convert this into a “sustainable profit,” Mr Davis said.
The government will give PowerSecure a base management fee of $2m per year with the opportunity for the company to receive a compensation bonus of up to 150 per cent of that based on achievements in areas like non-fuel management costs and reliability.
BPL was incorporated last September.
The utility provider has six new board members: Nathaniel Beneby, chairman; Donna Smith, deputy chairperson; Deepak Bhatnagar, executive director; three directors, Patricia Hermanns, Andrew Rogers, and Daphne Simmons.