Senator blasts govt. over extensive weekend load shedding
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Senator Fred Mitchell indicated last night that the extensive load shedding over the weekend demonstrates the Free National Movement (FNM) has “failed us”.
He called on the public to demonstrate to bring the government into account.
The power company initiated load shedding last Wednesday.
In a statement issued around 8 p.m. last night, BPL said the temporary failure of two of its generating assets over the weekend exacerbated the load shedding underway on New Providence, “extending the times and multiplying the number of outages experienced across the island”.
Mitchell said, “It is time for public demonstrations to bring this government into account.
“They must answer for their falsehoods and say what is happening.
“The PLP had the problem solved.
“The FNM went and interfered with that arrangement left in place.
“They put these people in charge, who are obviously incompetent and can’t speak the truth.
“The FNM needs to go and let someone govern who can keep the power on and collect the garage on time.
“We expect the government leader in the Senate to address this matter as a matter of urgent public importance.
“Fix this problem.”
Mitchell added that the situation is compounded with the lack of information.
“A call to BPL was made and finally someone answered,” he said.
“The spokesman confirmed that BPL was load shedding multiple times in certain areas for three hours at a time and they had no idea when it will end.
“Way back in 1995, former United States Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady speaking to the Chamber of Commerce said you cannot develop a country without a reliable power platform.
“The FNM has failed us.“
According to BPL, load shedding is expected to continue daily in two-hour rotations until it completes the installation of additional rental generations and the assets, which are out of commission for repair or maintenance, are brought back online.
The power company said the additional power is expected to be available before next Sunday.
BPL Director of Public Relations Quincy Parker said,“BPL teams at the Blue Hills Station are working feverishly to resolve the concern with the generators and return them to service as soon as possible to offset, in the short-term, the current shortfall.”
“Further, BPL wishes to advise that the installation of additional rental generation at the Blue Hills Station is nearing completion.
“It is expected that this additional power will be available by the week ending June 30, 2019. This additional rental will bolster BPL’s available generation and put us in a better position to meet the increasing customer demand during this summer period.
Yesterday, Mitchell, the leader of opposition business in the Senate, said the government must explain to the public why the power company cannot keep the electricity on.
He also asserted that BPL’s management team and the government were disingenuous when they advised the public that there would be no load shedding this summer.
BPL has historically struggled to meet the increased demand for electricity during the summer months.
In April, BPL Chairman Donovon Moxey said the power company did not expect any load shedding this summer.
Moxey said as part of the power provider’s summer plans, several key generation assets were being maintained and several more rental generations will be brought in to address the peak demand.
Yesterday, Mitchell noted that during a church service where Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister, who has ministerial responsibility for BPL, was in attendance Sunday, the church was plunged into darkness.
He called the incident embarrassing.
“Last night (Saturday) the electricity went off four times in some areas for a total eight hours,” Mitchell said.
“Today (Sunday), the power was off in some areas from 10:30 a m.
“As at 5 pm, the power at PLP head quarters was off the grid and on stand-by power.”
”The generation shortfall plus the spike in demand mean that BPL expects to be load shedding almost daily, in two hour rotations, until the rental generators are installed and the gen sets that are out of commission for repair or maintenance are brought back into service.”