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Businesses frustrated and angry over power cuts

For some business owners on New Providence, the frustration from frequent power outages and load shedding has turned to anger, according to Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC) Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Beckles.

Load shedding began again in April. “Businesses are feeling the pinch. Several businesses that we’ve spoken to over the past 24 hours have talked about the amount of resources they’ve had to deploy to ensure that they are operational. Some of them are operating on 50 percent generated power. They can’t afford to wait to be told they’ll be out of power,” Beckles told Guardian Business.

“The reality of it is it’s not only having an impact on businesses, but every single Bahamian who lives in Nassau, and wherever else these facilities are, are having the same challenge. The cost of that adds up in real dollars in terms of business lost. I know that the staff of BPL are now doing their rotations in the evenings, but we still have a lot of businesses that operate in the evening and the impact of that begins to mount.

“And then, when you add the frustration and the emotional price and the toll that it’s having, with those things people are generally frustrated, some may be angry.”

Yesterday, Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey refused to call the inability of generating sufficient power for consumers a crisis.

BPL is in the process of installing new rental generators which are expected to improve generation availability and reliability until a new 132-megawatt power station, that is currently under construction, is complete.

“Part of the challenge, though, is the longevity of this conversation we’ve been having about power generation. Realistically, one would expect that we would not be having such an extensive conversation about this in 2019. That’s no indictment on any one or two people, that’s just happens to be the state of affairs,” Beckles said when asked about the sustainability of BPL’s generation plan.

“The conversation has been going on for far, far too long about the need to address the shortage in power generation and also the capacity of our ability to maintain the state of power supply and I think that conversation has been going on for too long.”

It was announced in March that Finnish technology group Wartsila will install the new power plant. The seven engines have already been moved to the Clifton Pier site. The new plant is not expected to be complete until the fall.

Paige McCartney

Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas.
Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016.
Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News
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