IDB: Power outage indicators below expected performance

IDB: Power outage indicators below expected performance

Bannister: This will be the last report of this nature

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – With an old power generating infrastructure and minimal penetration of renewal energy, The Bahamas’ electrification and electrical outages indicators, like other Caribbean countries, were “below expected performance”, according to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) .

The IDB released its 2019 Latin American and Caribbean Macroeconomics Report on Monday.

“With an old power generating infrastructure, The Bahamas suffers from frequent power outages,” the report said.

“Electrification and electrical outages indicators were below expected performance.

“The combination of limited productivity and volatile oil prices has contributed to making electricity tariffs among the highest in the Caribbean economies.

“The government of The Bahamas has recently appointed a new board of management at… Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) and tendered proposals for the building of a new generating plant with a capacity of 80 megawatts.

“In 2019, BPL will issue a bond of US$650 million to help refinance its legacy debt and fund systems upgrades.

“With minimal penetration of renewable energy, The Bahamas has set an ambitious goal of increasing renewable to 30 percent of the energy mix by the year 2030.”

When contacted, Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said while he had not read the report as yet, its assessment was in line with the government’s pronouncements on the utility company and its challenges.

He said the government has made a concerted effort to resolve those long-standing issues and through its recently signed agreements with Finnish-based firm Wartsila and Shell North America, those sorts of assessments will soon be a thing of the past.

“We have generators that have been here for 40 years.

“No matter what anyone says in terms of propaganda in relation to what their plans were, the reality is we have to fix a problem that has been here, over our heads, for more than four decades.