NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Works Minister Alfred Sears QC yesterday revealed that the Minnis administration did not give Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) the green light to proceed with its rate reduction bond (RRB).
Sears told reporters ahead of a Cabinet meeting that he met with the BPL board last week.
“They have presented to us some timelines they are seeking to meet,” he said.
“The difficulty is this matter was presented to the Cabinet I understand right before the election and the urgency of the matter I have been informed had been put to the Cabinet by the board and Dr Donovan Moxey.”
Still, Sears noted that Cabinet did not grant the approval.
“We will be having some meetings possibly this Friday with the Ministry of Finance so we can get the benefit of the Ministry of Finance in terms of how to proceed,” he said.
BPL’s bond offering is a part of the utility provider’s efforts to obtain the financing needed to refinance the company’s legacy debt and also fund major upgrades to its transmission and distribution network.
As previously reported by Eyewitness News, BPL was said to be in a “state of readiness” and awaiting government authorization to go to market with its rate reduction bond (RRB).
In its 2020-2025 strategic plan, the company stated: “We are at a state of readiness on the rate reduction bond. Once the government authorizes the action, we are ready to go out to the market immediately, and we anticipate — all things being equal — that we will be able to close the bond by December 2021.”
The company noted that the long-awaited RRB will allow the company to build an additional station that will add an additional 100MW of “new, high-efficiency, high-output, fuel-flexible generation to fleet”.
According to the electricity provider, the RRB will also allow it to launch advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and replace manual meters with smart meter technology that allows for real-time metering capabilities.