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‘B.P.L. Management Failed To Anticipate Summer Demand’

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Prime Minister Perry Christie.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

AS Bahamians rage over power cuts during this hot summer, Prime Minister Perry Christie admitted yesterday that the management of Bahamas Power & Light failed to adequately anticipate the challenge of generating electricity during the summer months and prepare for it.

He made his comments during an appearance on the “Ed Fields Live” show on Kiss FM yesterday evening.

“The difficulty is that I thought we had anticipated, that is the management of BEC and the management going forward, that we were going to have a bad summer and I knew that we had to have at least 40 megawatts in addition to what we have now - they were ordered late,” Mr Christie said.

“The fact is (that the management is) anticipating relief by a certain date that they can give. And the relief would be where you add to the capacity as it exists now; the 40 megawatts that they say should be able to balance out the challenges that we have.”

Mr Christie was referring to temporary generators that the company has ordered to assist with power generation for the summer.

Former Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) Chairman Leslie Miller has said that the former board of the corporation planned to provide steady electricity generation this summer by refurbishing the Clifton Pier plant, providing greater maintenance to the plant’s old generators.

Mr Miller has criticised Mr Christie’s Cabinet for not signing-off on the plan.

Mr Christie, however, seemed to suggest his plan wasn’t feasible in light of the transition the government was overseeing involving BPL.

Mr Christie said: “It’s all well and good to say you are going to fix the machines you have and the machines are going to work efficiently and so forth but it’s another expense in the transition of PowerSecure to BPL to new management to recruiting new management, all of that in transition this thing (would’ve had to take) place.”

Of the incoming generators, he said: “This is me saying now, that looking at what has happened, we could have ordered and should have ordered these things a few months before we did. The fact of the matter is they weren’t ordered. They’re now in progress. And (the management of BPL) are trying to get the extra power here.”

Mr Christie said BPL has paid for the generators with help from the government.

“They’re funded by Bahamas Power & Light but again backed up by the Ministry of Finance,” he said. “We’ve always indicated that we’re prepared to assist in the transition going forward. There’s no question about that.”

Frequent power outages this summer have angered Bahamians, some of whom complain not only of having to deal with record heat without reliable electricity, but of having appliances destroyed as well because of the unpredictable power outages.

Some business owners have also complained about the affect of power outages on their business.

Nonetheless, Mr Christie did not second-guess his government’s decision to hire PowerSecure to manage BPL.

He said, for instance, that the company offers much in terms of the development of renewable energy services.

“We would be able to take advantage of their expertise in that regard,” he said. “And so both here and in the Family Islands we expect a tremendous movement forward once everybody is settled and in place and we have power going on to be able to introduce new methods like solar and other methodologies.”

Mr Christie also said his government is not interfering with BPL, noting this was an important element of the agreement struck with PowerSecure.

His statement is unlikely to persuade critics, many of whom pointed to his Cabinet’s decision to deny BPL its request to raise rates to fund personnel and equipment upgrades as an example of potentially harmful government interference.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 3 months ago

LIAR! Miller has already readily admitted that Christie and Davis still have full responsibility for continuing to run BEC right into the ground while BPL and its CEO Pamela Hill are only a charade (facade) put in place by Christie and Davis to deflect blame away from themselves for all of the power outages. BEC (aka BPL) is bankrupt because of the gross incompetence and corruptness of Christie and Davis, period! Miller is nothing but what Christie and Davis have always directed him to be: A distracting side show to help deflect blame away from themselves on to Pamela Hill.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 3 months ago

Pamela Hill needs to come clean with the Bahamian people by disclosing to us the total amount currently owed to BPL by the Bahamas government and its various departments and agencies. Rumors abound that the total amount of the government's unpaid electricity bills exceeds the staggering sum of $100 million! Perry Christie and Brave Davis are well aware of this but have done nothing to pay the government's past due electricity bills, which money BEC desperately needed and now BPL desperately needs to pay for urgently required maintenance and repairs to power generating equipment. Perry Christie and Brave Davis have together brought our country to its knees through their failure to ensure our electrical power generating needs were properly forecast and met. Can you imagine what our power outages would be like if the Baha Mar development were now fully operational and on the grid?!!! Notice how you don't hear Christie or Davis saying a darn thing about that!

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alfalfa 2 years, 3 months ago

Surely BPL woul have done due diligence and reviewed the historical usage of power in the summer. BEC has had to rent generators in the past to meet the summer demand. What type of company is this that we have turned over the most important utility in the country to? They obviously did not do their homework before taking over, so how can we rely on anything they say they plan going forward. What a joke!

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ThisIsOurs 2 years, 3 months ago

If you bring in a new vendor, the first thing you spill is all your historical problems. Would be great to see the plan which probably says "we need money to service the generators"

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SP 2 years, 3 months ago

........................ Perry Christie only lies to us when he opens his mouth .........................

"Bahamians First" "We Believe In Bahamians", "Help & Hope Is On the Way", "Mortgage Relief Plan In The Works", 10,000 Jobs In First 100 Days", "We Have The Solution For Crime", "2012 Will Be My Final Run For PM", "No More Power Cuts", "Government will abide By The Will Of The People On Gambling Referendum", "Baha Mar Opening Imminent", "NHI Will Unquestionably Be Implemented Jan 1st 2016" are just some of the more memorable whoppers from Perry Christie.

Surly no one is stupid enough to believe anything from Christies mouth!

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killemwitdakno 2 years, 3 months ago

"providing greater maintenance to the plant’s old generators."

Is it in the plan somewhere to either get new sufficient generators or switch our energy model?

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killemwitdakno 2 years, 3 months ago

Shit yes, solar on credit has a better chance of earning than all the accounts with overdue payments now. Rent to own.

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John 2 years, 3 months ago

BPL was paid $1 million to do an assessment and review of BEC before signing the management contract. If you believe they didn't know that BEC has peak demands during the summer months almost double that of winter then you also believes the PM does not dye his hair, the young people want him to stay on as PM and Bah Mar will be opening soon. And what if Bah Mar had open Ed last year? Most of us would be burning candles from both ends and fanning with newspaper.

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