Southern New Providence dark after BPL Blue Hills fire
The newly appointed board at Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) Company might be considering re-engaging some of the employees who were let go during the voluntary separation exercise earlier this summer, according to Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) president, Paul Maynard.
This revelation came after another fire erupted over the weekend that caused widespread blackouts across New Providence. On Saturday night firefighters responded to the blaze at the Blue Hills Power Plant. This followed a string of fires at Clifton Pier Power Plant last week and loading shedding commenced.
“The south side of the 11 KD Board at Blue Hill caught a fire,” Maynard explained.
“The board had not been maintained for a long time and also that equipment is now obsolete.”
Maynard told Eyewitness News that the fires were most likely the cause of old equipment and lack of maintenance, ruling out sabotage.
As challenges at the power company continue to mount, Maynard said that management now seems open to taking the Union’s advice.
“I stressed to them, the Board, the chairman and the general manager to see the way forward. It sounds as if they are going to take the Union’s advice and bring some people back so that we can get all of these boards maintained until we are able to change them,” he said.
Opposition Leader Phillip Davis had also recommended that BPL bring back employees who accepted the Voluntary Separation Packages (VSEP), noted that the company now lacked the experienced personnel needed to continue with its operations.
More than 200 persons were approved during that VSEP process which totalled $70,403,315.
The money was partially funded from the pension fund administrator and the remaining portion was financed through funds secured by BPL on July 2, 2017 through a resolution in the House of Assembly.