Tuesday, Jul 16, 2019
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Bannister: BPL performing better now than under PLP

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said despite days of load shedding, Bahamas Power and Light’s (BPL) performance so far this summer has been better than it was during any of the summers under the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration.

Over the past week, many BPL consumers on New Providence have expressed outrage as they experienced frequent power outages, some lasting hours.

“Notwithstanding the fact that we had to load shed…if you check the record, this summer has still been better than any of the five summers under the former administration, any of them,” Bannister said.

BPL has historically struggled to keep up with an increased demand for electricity on New Providence during the summer.

While Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey on Monday said that some relief is expected by the end of this week with the installation of rental generation units, he noted that load shedding is possible until the installation of a new plant at Clifton Pier is completed later in the year.

BPL announced in March that Finnish technology group Wartsila will install a new 132-megawatt engine power plant at a cost of $95 million to increase the generation capacity on New Providence.

Referring to the new plant, Bannister emphasized that the Free National Movement (FNM) has already taken significant steps to remedy the issues at the power company.

“We have an antiquated system and I keep saying that,” he said.

“We have a system that’s been around for 40 years. Old generators, they are apt to break down. This FNM government has brought in the latest state-of-the-art generation.”

He added, “At the end of the summer, come October, we are going to have these new generators online, and we are going to put an end to all the misery that we’ve had.

“But if you check the blackouts, there’s never been a summer under the PLP that has been anywhere as nice as this one has.”

PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis, however, said that under the FNM administration, electricity reliability has decreased while costs have increased.

“The state of electricity is deplorable,” said Davis, who had ministerial responsibility for BPL.

“Reliability, affordability are all at a dismal low.

“We have heard the promises made that there will be no blackouts this summer. Well, what are we having now? And summer has just started.

“The cost of electricity is continually high.”

Rachel Knowles

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues.
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish
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