Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017
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RFPs on fuel supply, generation issued by BPL

• Bannister pleased with new procurement policies board has put in place
Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister speaks in the House of Assembly yesterday. TORRELL GLINTON

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said the procurement process at Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) will be “put to the test and refined” beginning this week, as the power company prepares to issue a number of request for proposals (RFPs) in areas that help to facilitate energy supply.

BPL Chairman Darnell Osborne told Guardian Business yesterday that some RFPs for fuel supply, generation and landscaping were issued yesterday and this will continue into next week.

Speaking in the House of Assembly yesterday, Bannister lauded the efforts of BPL’s board as it seeks to ensure that “everyone has a fair opportunity”.

“I’m especially pleased at the new procurement policies that they have put in place, which makes it difficult for insiders to abuse the process and give confidential information to friends and business associates,” said Bannister.

“Already, this process has saved BPL millions of dollars.

“This process will be put to the test and refined beginning this week, as BPL will issue a number of RFPs.

“The process will be transparent and I commend the board for ensuring that everyone will have a fair opportunity, and that there will be no secret deals and subverting of the process as there was under the former administration.”

Osborne previously stated that “a lot of money has gone out of the company” over the years under the procurement process subject to change.

“So we are really attempting to change that procurement process and ensure that everyone gets a fair chance and there is no fear or discouragement in terms of applying because you feel it is a done deal already,” she said.

Bannister also pointed out that a number of corporate entities have published information with respect to renewable energy projects in The Bahamas and his ministry has consulted with the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA).

“We have been advised that URCA has not approved any utility scale solar projects,” he noted.

CEO of URCA Stephen Bereaux told Guardian Business yesterday that the regulator has to work with BPL to ascertain the extent to which the BPL grid can accommodate renewable energy projects in New Providence.

“We are in the middle of that process but we have not considered or approved any projects at this stage,” said Bereaux.

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