Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019
HomeBusinessDNA deputy leader wants details of Wärtsilä/BPL deal revealed

DNA deputy leader wants details of Wärtsilä/BPL deal revealed

Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Deputy Leader Buscheme Armbrister is calling for Free National Movement (FNM) government transparency on the recent announcement that Finnish corporation Wärtsilä Oyj Abp will provide new power generation at Bahamas Power and Light’s (BPL) Clifton power station at a cost of $95 million.

Armbrister, in a press release, called for the government to reveal the full details of the recently announced deal with Wärtsilä, given that Shell was only recently announced as the winner of the bid to provide a new power plant at Clifton and while questions still linger regarding the request for proposals (RFP) process of 2017 that led to Shell’s winning bid. It is still not yet known what the environmental remediation efforts at Clifton will be after years of oil being allowed to leak into the ground.

“This FNM administration does not seem to learn from its mistakes or simply does not believe that it should be accountable to the populace,” Armbrister said.

“Having failed to answer pertinent questions surrounding the request for proposals process that led to the selection of Shell, BPL has again been found wanting in the selection process and plans for the installation of a 132-megawatt engine power plant by Wärtsilä.

“The chief executive of BPL was recently quoted as stating that the company will likely take an equity ownership interest in Shell’s new power plant in return for the investment of $95 million of taxpayers’ funds. This is bearing in mind that no commercial terms have been agreed and an agreement has not been signed following the execution of a memorandum of understanding. This latest move suggests that BPL under the FNM operates in an ad hoc and incoherent manner.

“How could BPL invest $95 million of our funds to generate 132 of the 220 megawatts required of Shell without a commitment or undertaking by Shell that we will be reimbursed or given an equity stake in the new power plant? It is unacceptable that BPL is speculating on the method of recovery of our investment and we call on them to state unequivocally that the $95 million will in fact be recouped from Shell.”

Armbrister said while the DNA supports improved, efficient power generation, it is not interested in deals “covered in secrecy and controversy”.

“The DNA calls on BPL to address these matters forthwith,” he said. “We implore this administration to desist from paying lip service to transparency and accountability in governance.”

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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