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Falling Short: Minnis Addresses Power Crisis - But Blackouts Go On

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis expressed deep unhappiness with the state of power generation in New Providence yesterday, calling it unacceptable.

He revealed that Bahamas Power & Light officials briefed Cabinet on Tuesday about its short-term plan to provide relief to residents and businesses. That plan includes returning to service an additional nine megawatts of power from BPL’s Aggreko units, he said.

He added: “A six-man team of specialists from Philadelphia Gear is here on New Providence. The team has started working with the intention of returning an additional 20 megawatts of power to service at the Baillou Hills Power Plant. For context, BPL’s peak demand is 250 megawatts and is currently experiencing a 40 megawatt shortfall. BPL will notify the public as additional generation capacity is operational.”

His statement continued: “Over the last several months, BPL has had to engage in prolonged periods of load shedding due to a decaying generation fleet that has presented challenges to power generation in New Providence for decades. I am deeply unhappy that our families are suffering. I fully understand that Bahamians and residents want clear and immediate action. I want to assure you that the government is committed to doing whatever is necessary to alleviate this problem, including further additional measures. The frustration and inconvenience experienced by Bahamians and residents, in homes and businesses throughout New Providence is simply unacceptable. We are doing all we can to fix the problem long-term, and to ensure that Bahamians and residents receive the consistent power supply they deserve.”

For his part, Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest acknowledged to reporters that the electricity woes have been a “very significant inconvenience at the least and is a significant problem that is affecting people’s lives both in terms of the business, the economy and personal comfort.”

He said of BPL’s short-term plan: “I’m not an engineer so I can’t say where they are technically in terms of it, but based on my layman’s ear I’m satisfied that they certainly are addressing the issue and they have a plan for a speedy resolution.”

Last week Opposition Leader Philip “Brave” Davis knocked Dr Minnis for not publicly addressing the problems at BPL, calling his reaction “stone silence.”

At the same time, BPL’s CEO Whitney Heastie could not say over the weekend when BPL will stop its load shedding exercises, describing the company as “on a cliff” with no wiggle room. Currently, the Finnish technology group Wartsilla is working to install a 132-megawatt engine power plant at Clifton for $95 million. That plant is expected to be operational in December. 

BPL began daily load shedding on June 19, but frequent power cuts were an issue even before that time. Load shedding persisted yesterday in many communities in New Providence in three-hour rotations. 

Comments

The_Oracle 1 month, 1 week ago

A Perfect example of politicians/politics being the creators of problems, never the solutions. Brave adding hot air when his party kicked the issue down the road as much as anyone else. BEC is one of many Bahamian legacy disasters.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 1 week ago

Translation of Minnis comments: ".....I'm deeply unhappy....but you know my cabinet was only recently briefed by BPL officials about their short term plan.....and we know BPL ain't got any long term plan in sight yet....foreigners from Philadelphia Gear had to be brought in because BPL has no qualified engineers and won't have any anytime soon.....I finally now understand Bahamians and residents want clear and immediate action....I can now feel your frustration and inconvenience....but keep in mind I have a big generator at my home, so I sleep good even on the hottest nights.....once we fix da crisis with our short term plan we can then think about fixin' da problem long term, but we gotta fix dis crisis first .....Bahamians and residents deserve better....make sure you vote for the FNM candidate in the next general election cause ya FNM gubbermint doing all it can ...... and I know the great people in my constituency gonna vote for me no matter what...."

Translation of KP Turnquest's comments: ".....we know you sweating on hot nights is a great inconvenience....but don't come to me to reimburse you for all your BPL fried equipment and appliances....I'm not even gonna declare a three-month moratorium on duty and VAT so all Bahamians and residents can buy and import new appliances and equipment....we know ya personal comfort is impacted....but like Minnis, I got a big home generator so I sleep good on hot nights too...keep in mind I ain't no engineer and only got a layman's ear when BPL engineers start talking to me about all dat technical stuff.....I gotta trust Paul Maynard and his engineers....I'm satisfied there will be a speedy solution even though BPL's CEO say he ain't know when da load shedding gonna stop cause BPL now on a cliff..."

IS THIS THE BEST THESE TWO CLOWNS (MINNIS AND TURNQUEST) CAN DO. TALK IS CHEAP BUT ACCOMPLISHES NADA. INCOMPETENCE IS PLENTY AND FIXES NOTHING. THE MINNIS-LED FNM GOVERNMENT IS CEMENTING ITS LEGACY AS THE WORST GOVERNMENT OUR COUNTRY HAS EVER HAD AND POSSIBLY COULD EVER HAVE.

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yeahyasee 1 month, 1 week ago

It's really sad that this is the truth lmao

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licks2 1 month, 1 week ago

SO MR KNOWS HOW EVERYTHING SHOULD WORK. . .GIVE US HE SOLUTION. . .I DON'T TELL US GO BUY ONE BIG GENERATOR LIKE YOU AND MINNIS DID. . .ALSO WE KNOW THAT YOON NO ENGINEER. . .SO GIVE US THAT LAYMAN EAR. . .HOW TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM???

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Clamshell 1 month, 1 week ago

Your translations are perfect.

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pablojay 1 month, 1 week ago

This is a sad case of "however much things change, they remain the same." I worked for Pepsi in the early seventies and we were plagued by power cuts then, affecting our business.An American part owner had just come from Florida to check on his investment and spend a week with his friends here and said that after telling his grandson that he was going away, he asked him to buy a Micky Mouse outfit for him. His reply in 1972 to his grandson was that he would buy B.E.C. for him. If that conversation were to happen today, the only difference would be to replace B.E.C with B.P.L.

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DDK 1 month, 1 week ago

BEC AND BPL are one in the same.........

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tell_it_like_it_is 1 month, 1 week ago

It is definitely true that both parties have only talked and nothing happened in the past. So the PLP and FNM seem to have no solutions!!!
But truly this is the WORST IT'S EVER BEEN!! This power shortage is just ridiculous.

I long for the days now in previous years when power use to go off maybe once or twice a week during load shedding. Instead of now, where it's mostly one or twice in A DAY!!!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 1 week ago

And the worst is yet to come.....soon we won't have a reliable supply of potable water!

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TalRussell 1 month, 1 week ago

The colony of out islands voters were offered a proposition that they could punish comrade PM Christie's PLP's. The result was a victory for 35 red shirts opposition's candidates be elevated sit up in House of Assembly as majority party.
The 2017 general election was never about Minnis having a close relationship with 91,408 out islanders responsible electing the opposition to govern colony over 5-year mandate, yes, no .. that feeling about PM's aloofness from even larger segment populaces has only grown be more evident over past 827 days ....

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birdiestrachan 1 month, 1 week ago

in the main time taxes on the poor goes up $2,oo of bananas cost 2,24, 24 cents for doc to travel

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Clamshell 1 month, 1 week ago

^^^ Evidence that the power outages are beginning to eat up peoples’ brains.

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TalRussell 1 month, 1 week ago

Ma Comrades, when V. Alfred was colony's minister no VAT on Bananas, BAMSI supplied out islanders with more Bananas than ever seen by any generation out islanders, yes, no ....

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Bahamianbychoice 1 month, 1 week ago

The CEO is a chemical engineer with limited experience in generation and was fired from GBP his only job in generation. Rollins does not have an engineering degree of any standard...was A BTC technician....neither apparently are recognized by the governing body of Bahamian Engineers...who in their right mind allows these people to remain on their job let alone take the lead in the energy sector of a country...they and the Board are so out of their depth..but Minnis is sorry!!!! He sympathizes...Seriously!!!! No details on the fire..and we all know why....Minnis should have fired Bannister and gave his replacement instructions to fire board and management. The impact to the country and its GDP is immeasurable and because it was all avoidable it is unconscionable and treasonous. I am sorry but the only conclusion you can come to is that there is collusion of sort happening.

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Gotoutintime 1 month, 1 week ago

Funny---We didn't seem to have this problem before Independence!!

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stoner 1 month, 1 week ago

We lived in Nassau/New Providence in the early to mid seventies and there were problems with power outage.It was very often that we had to use our own generator.Business closed down for hours and no one knew when the power would come up.That is over forty years ago and still BEC is having shortages of power.The population has doubled since then and this has created a major drain on the power source with no major upgrades to the power grids.I know from experience that over the hill, they were stealing power like no tomorrow with little or no control.Now they are paying for it.Upgrade annually and keep the lines/equipment and additional source of power in place and there will be no shortage or outage.Good Luck on fixing the problem.There were more lines crossing roads in houses and coming out ,it looked a spiders web.Stealing power of course.

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stoner 1 month, 1 week ago

My brother has five degrees in engineering including Electric /Mechanical/ Steam and he would not take a job to clean up the situation BEC is facing.They need new equipment and more lines and qualified employees to run the system.

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stoner 1 month, 1 week ago

I just read that a homeless man in Nassau got a six months in jail for touching a woman's breast without her consent. This seems to be a major sentence for such a small crime considering that a man gets suspended or no jail time for raping a minor.I seen it happen.Apparently the homeless man and the woman both knew each other.What goes here?Is the law fair??

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