Business

CEO: BPL won’t be raising capital on int’l markets in near term

Cambridge confirms that $535 million rate reduction bond is now off the table

Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) Chief Executive Officer Shevonn Cambridge said yesterday he doesn’t anticipate the power company raising capital in international financial markets in the near to medium term.

BPL’s former board and executives planned a rate reduction bond (RRB) to raise $535 million on international markets in early 2020, however the COVID-19 pandemic derailed those plans.

When the economy reopened in 2021, BPL said it hoped to try the markets again in August 2021, however former Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis dissolved Parliament and called an election before the company could receive Cabinet approval.

Cambridge confirmed yesterday that the rate reduction bond is now off the table.

“Things really changed during the pandemic, that would have changed the market’s appetite for a rate reduction bond of that structure. Our financial team is looking at the best way to raise capital to address the legacy debt issues,” he said.

Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis has criticized the RRB, claiming that it would have resulted in a 20 percent increase in electricity for customers.

BPL in October implemented a fuel charge increase of two cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) up to 800 kWh and 4.3 cents for all units over 800 kWh, which would increase again by two cents and 4.3 cents for the periods December 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023; March 1 to May 31, 2023; June 1 to August 31, 2023; and September 1 to November 30, 2023.

Cambridge said BPL will seek to reduce fuel costs through increased usage of renewable energy and maintaining its fuel hedging program. He said the power company is also cracking down on delinquent customers.

“On the billing side we’re getting a little more aggressive with collections, but that is necessary because we need the funds in order to do the investments to become more efficient and be able to adapt to changes in the industry. The electricity energy sector is changing very rapidly, technology is changing at a great pace. We’re trying to stay ahead of it to leverage that technology for the betterment of the sector,” he said.

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Paige McCartney

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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