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Bpl Union: Blackouts Worst It’S Ever Been

BAHAMAS Electrical Workers Union president Paul Maynard. (File photo)

BAHAMAS Electrical Workers Union president Paul Maynard. (File photo)

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

AS key government facilities were among dozens of areas struck by power cuts yesterday, Bahamas Electrical Workers Union president Paul Maynard said the ongoing situation is at its “worst” as he suggested Bahamians needed to protest against this electricity crisis.

Bahamas Power and Light had little update to give consumers yesterday outside of its Facebook page, which only provided a running list of areas from east to west affected by widespread load shedding.

These included the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services, Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC), Simpson Penn School for Boys, private healthcare facilities, Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, dozens of residential areas and some small and medium sized businesses.

A Public Hospitals Authority official said computers, printers and light fixtures at SRC sustained damage from power surges.

Power issues also hit Abaco and Bimini.

In an interview yesterday Mr Maynard likened BPL spending almost $2m each month on rental Aggreko generators to putting a bandage on a festering wound.

He said when the generators are returned to service, issues will remain because the same antiquated equipment is in large part still in use.

Earlier this week, BPL executives said the rental units were delayed, but predicted they would be in place by yesterday and the weekend to address its generation shortfall.

This comes as Works Minister Desmond Bannister told The Nassau Guardian on Tuesday that BPL was currently performing better than it had been under the former PLP government.

“He talking fool,” Mr Maynard told The Tribune. “This is the worst it’s ever been and I told him he shouldn’t say that. You can’t take the public for fools.

“Until Bahamians get together and stop this red and yellow and green and say we ain’t taking this bull, we going to Bay Street and when they see 50,000 people downtown, they’ll say they serious now.”

Mr Maynard also noted the BPL CEO Whitney Heastie has been absent throughout this situation.

Asked whether the rentals were a sure way to fix the issues Mr Maynard said: “The point is you will always have this problem because we are operating on ancient equipment, I always say that.

“Those rental generators ain’t gonna fix a goddamn thing. It will remedy the problem yes, but fix it, no.

“Let’s do some math here. They say that you have 130 megawatts coming online whenever. Now when it comes we have 125 of rental engines right now.

“The plan is to send the rental engines back. So now we send them back so if that was 125, when next summer comes you have 130 megawatts but then you still have the same problem because you don’t have additional power. So what’s going to happen? The same thing, you will be load shedding.”

He continued: “What I am telling them is you can do what you want, but tell the public the truth. Until Shell North America gets in here, if they coming, the only thing you have to rely on is this same situation because you sending Aggreko back home because it’s costing too much.”

On Monday, BPL Chairman Donovan Moxey blamed this month’s adverse weather conditions for the power provider’s inability to receive rental generators earlier, which rendered it unable to fulfil electricity demands over the weekend when two of its units went offline.

Although this was an “anomaly”, according to Mr Moxey, he apologised for the “unacceptable” widespread load shedding, which grossly inconvenienced thousands of customers.

The chairman explained that BPL took measures to avoid a situation like the one encountered at the weekend. He said the company did anticipate elevated summer demand and had planned to have rental generators in place by June 18. However rainy weather created a delay in their delivery.

As for when the situation is expected to get better, Mr Moxey said realistically not until fall 2019 when the new power plant is expected to be fully functional. Officials said load shedding would continue this week in three to four hour intervals.

Despite this, BPL has no plans to relax disconnections and the company continued to urge consumers to pay their bills or work out payment plans.

Comments

mandela 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Welcome to the Bahamas 2019 hip hip hooray.

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observer2 9 months, 2 weeks ago

dat ain true, fnm tell me it was worsest under da plp

"its da ppls time" ... come get yinna numbers, alcahol, carnival and soon merryjane.

shut ya mout and go cool of in da ocean

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observer2 9 months, 2 weeks ago

"Mr Maynard likened BPL spending almost $2m each month on rental Aggreko generators to putting a bandage on a festering wound".

https://www.aggreko.com/">https://www.aggreko.com/

ohh boy, i tryin to do some due diligence on Aggreko. I can figure out nuttin bout dem.

fnm better light dey torch and see if anyone gettin grease up.

dey say dey located at

Miami Depot 3601 NW 123rd Street 33167 03458 247 365

but when i google dem it look like ain nobody in da buildin. hey, tribune, please check dese ppls out, all my fridge, stove, a/c done mess up, i try call bec, dey ain anwerin da phone, it 95% outside. i close my business because my freezer get mess right up and bec gettin ready to shut me off for $500 bill...."its da ppls dem time"!

https://www.google.com/maps/place/360...">https://www.google.com/maps/place/360...

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observer2 9 months, 2 weeks ago

"Until Shell North America gets in here, if they coming"

yinna ga get rid of Aggreko (who ever dey are) an den da fnm ga replace dem wit Shell...well muddos, des ppl does grease up politicians in Africa in da billions.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/01/shell...">https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/01/shell...

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TheMadHatter 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Amazing how we still don't have the results of the fire investigation (2 fires), NEITHER have they said whether security cameras have been put in place to catch the next sucker that sets fires to the generators.

So not only are we in the same place with load shedding - we are still open for business for anybody to come in a set more generators on fire without any consequence.

I always say, Bahamians don't have to worry about no foreign army attacking us....we doing a good enough job all by ourselves.

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OldFort2012 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Things will get better when BPL workers do an honest day's work for an honest day's pay, BPL management becomes competent, political parties stop using BPL to employ their supporters and when Bahamians start paying their bills on time and in full, without stealing electricity.

IE: never.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Baha Mar is lit up every night like a palace while Bahamians are left in darkness to suffer in sweltering heat. Yes indeed, Minnis is doing all he possibly can to make sure it's the foreign people's time. And we sure don't hear him singing anymore about how it's gonna be the Bahamian people's time. He swing Bahamian voters big time with all his sweet talk about Rock with Doc. What a joke! LMAO

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DontAssume 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Baha Mar will be lit up..because they were diligent with their investigations into this country's sub-par customer service in every service area imaginable, and have a generator farm for the inevitable reality we are experiencing with BPL and their load-shedding BS.

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yeahyasee 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Although this was an “anomaly”, according to Mr Moxey, he apologised for the “unacceptable” widespread load shedding, which grossly inconvenienced thousands of customers.

LMAO

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John 9 months, 2 weeks ago

First off WHY DID WE EVER PUT The power company in the hands of a foreign management? What was the benefit? It appears the country had gone generations backwards in terms of power generation. And an unstable or inadequate supply of power affects everything else in a country. When unrest erupted in Venezuela the first thing that went down was the power. The reports were that the government under drive was intentionally disrupting the power to make the people suffer. The government response was that US forces who supported the opposition and were helping to try overthrow the seated government were sabotaging the electricity grid. Why is there an attempt to have less and less Bahamians trained and qualified and able to run this country’s power supply? They have been doing it for decades and even when there was union unrest, the power disruptions were never this severe, this long ladting or so far reaching. Is it coincidence that Bimini that has a booming economy is having similar challenges with power supply? Secondly, WHY is BEC so cash strapped and seems to be losing money when it cannot meets the demand for its power? This means BEC is operating beyond full capacity. When oil prices dropped from $150 plus a barrel to under $40 a barrel, it was suggested that BPL hold its fuel surcharges constant for a year. This would have allowed it to generate in excess of $100 million to replace at least one major generators. But instead the situation has deteriorated where the lights are still off and Bahamians are paying even more for electricity. The conclusion of any right thinking person is this entire fiasco at BPL is by design. It is intended to fraustrate the public, disrupt persons lives stagnate the economy and drive up the cost of living to a point that electricity is a luxury and not affordable by many Bahamians. Government needs to take the power company back. Neither Power Secure or BPL has demonstrated they have good intentions for the Bahamas or the Bahamian people. Where there is intelligence there should also be counter intelligence and common sense

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John 9 months, 2 weeks ago

If BOL was operating in the USA like they are doing here, the entire board would be dismissed (again) and the total management team fired!

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concernedcitizen 9 months, 2 weeks ago

The government did take the power company back and cancelled the contract w Power secure , they only managed it for barely 4 years . @John at least get the facts right before you cut the cloth to fit your bias ..After nearly 50 years of independence we have proven we can not provide reliable power at an affordable price .It is past time to put it in someone else hands like BTC .@John you are right I lived in the U S for twenty years the power went off twice , once for hurricane Andrew and once for a transformer upgrade in the area I lived

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birdiestrachan 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Banister the masterful liar that he is, the best he could do is say it was worse under the PLP. when the record speaks for itself.

Banister should be quite ashamed of himself, to be spinning while people suffer But this is typical of Banister, Ms. Osbourne said he lied on her.

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DontAssume 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I totally agree with Maynard on this statement he made:

“Until Bahamians get together and stop this red and yellow and green and say we ain’t taking this bull, we going to Bay Street and when they see 50,000 people downtown, they’ll say they serious now.”

This party affiliated acceptance of how varying governments handle our country's business is appalling...the number of power outages is ridiculous, and we seem to be sitting, complaining, but not acting. I'm researching options that can be pursued in light (no pun intended) of BPL's poor service, especially being a customer that honors my 50% of the contract between BPL and myself--by paying my bill on time, and in full...but BPL is not honoring their 50% which is to provide reliable/commendable service.

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The_Oracle 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Where is Whitney Bastian? Probably wishing he were back in Freeport! Maynard is a part of the problem also. In fact, any of the management/union/ministers who speak to BEC/BPL are a part of the problem. Thoroughly INCOMPETENT. As to marching down Bay St, we know what happened last time: the two most vocal got government appointed and shut up.

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sealice 9 months, 2 weeks ago

So what are the Unions bragging that they have caused all these blackouts and that they are now the root cause of the worst blackouts anywhere? So basically everyone who's saying F BPL on line should be saying Fluck the Unions!!! about time.... thanks for nothing again BPL unions why do you think you should get more when you can't even come close to the status quo?

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professionalbahamian 8 months ago

Hey new idea- until shell gets here- place 20 armed defense force officers at the generator plants to log all activity and ensure no more arson or BS. Swipe the slate clean otherwise - national emergency- probably yes in any other country.

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