By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
Power blackouts could continue until November, warned Bahamas Electrical Workers Union president Paul Maynard yesterday. He told The Tribune the beleaguered electricity provider simply did not have the capacity to meet summer demands.
He also blasted the service provided by Aggreko for its rental units as unsatisfactory.
Mr Maynard explained BPL was down 60 megawatts with three major generation units offline.
One unit, GD 10, is expected back on tomorrow, and another - GD 7 - sometime next week. However GD 5 will be out for at least two months, he said.
“Realistically if the weather changes in November we’ll be fine, but if we have a hot November then we going (to load shed) to the end of November.”
Frustrated consumers continued to lambast BPL on its Facebook page, taking issue with perceived “false updates” and “poor public relations” yesterdaywhile mega hotel Atlantis says some of its equipment has been damaged by load shedding.
In response to The Tribune’s inquiry, Atlantis said: “We are working with BPL to relieve the lack of capacity. It has not been disruptive to our guests as they have been scheduled in advance for the most part. However, we have had damage to some of our equipment when the outages are not scheduled.”
For his part, Baha Mar VP Robert Sands said the mega resort has established a good line of communication with BPL and works in tandem to ensure minimal disruption to guests.
At a press briefing yesterday, Progressive Liberal Party leader Philip Davis underscored plummeting consumer confidence and mounting business losses.
“With public outcry, criticism and complaints against the Bahamas Power and Light intensifying in the wake of daily load shedding and power outages, the government must say with certainty when the load shedding will end as consumer confidence is at an all time low and business losses continue to mount,” Mr Davis said.
“This latest episode involving BPL is symptomatic of the incompetence of this government in the handling of any number of policy issues including immigration, VAT hike, Oban, the collapse of BTC, the government’s labour and employment policies, its contract administration and the transfer of the post office to the Town Centre Mall.”
Mr Davis added: “They have managed to create one crisis after another or exacerbate routine management issues into crises through glaring incompetence, arrogance, ignorance or indifference.”