Former Prime Minister Perry Christie.
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
FORMER Prime Minister Perry Christie is adamant the Progressive Liberal Party left in place a plan that provided both short and long-term strategies for sustainable power generation, as he urged officials to fix the ongoing crisis quickly.
While conceding his administration ran out of time to enforce this plan, Mr Christie said it was complete and ready to be picked up by the Minnis government.
In the wake of continuous load shedding, the former PLP leader said he could now only assume the Free National Movement government either disagreed with these provisions or didn’t look at them.
“We left in place a full plan but it was too close to elections to try and make it,” Mr Christie told The Tribune yesterday.
“We brought in Gowon Bowe, Michael Maura together with Kevin Basden who ran BEC and they joined Sir Baltron Bethel and they all agreed on particular plans going forward having looked at three proposals and they chose one and they left that in place.
“I would say that we - to predicate all that we were doing - brought in people from the outside two of them connected to the Chamber of Commerce, one very well respected and one ran BEC, so look we shall see, but whatever we left in place covered every possible development short-term (and) long-term and I could only assume they disagreed or didn’t look at it,” Mr Christie said, when asked if he believed his government had the answers to prevent what the country is now experiencing.
He added: “Everybody is affected now. It’s a very difficult situation for the country, very difficult for the government (and) it’s very difficult for BPL.
“Enormous damage is being deferred on a lot of people and so it’s a difficult situation that has to be addressed as quickly as possible.”
Mr Christie noted he was able to account for everything he’s done in public life, but referred The Tribune to the PLP’s current leader, Philip “Brave” Davis, for further insight as the power provider was under his purview during the former government.
BPL CEO Whitney Heastie admitted on Sunday the company sits “on the edge every day”. He could not guarantee there would be no further electricity cuts or when the load shedding nightmare will end.
According to the BPL chief, while BPL’s peak demand is 250 megawatts, there is only a total of 210mw available, creating a 40mw shortfall and no wiggle room.
Crippled by a decaying generation fleet, parts that can no longer be procured and manufacturers that have not responded to BPL’s requests for help, the situation is grim. Mr Heastie said this level of system failure now being experienced is one that could not have been anticipated.
Consumers have called for clear answers as to when the load shedding situation will improve and have questioned what the company will do to soften the blow of lives often disrupted by electricity cuts.
However, Mr Heastie said BPL cannot afford any form of compensation, while apologising for the utility provider’s failure to give uninterrupted service.
BPL’S new $95m power plant will be complete by December 15, according to Edmund Phillips, Wärtsilä business development manager.