Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis charged yesterday that Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) is in a state of chaos.
While noting that he, too, was suffering from the recent power cuts, Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister told The Nassau Guardian over the weekend that the situation being faced by BPL is “not a matter of crisis” despite constant load shedding.
But Davis said, “What you have in there is chaos.
“They’re shooting from the hips and all they’re doing is putting a band-aid on wounds when they have a tear in the operations of BPL.”
The opposition leader added, “It’s not a crisis? It is not a crisis because the minister’s own light has been off? What a laugh.”
He said the government must say, with certainty, when load shedding will end.
“With public outcry, criticism and complaints against Bahamas Power and Light intensifying in the wake of daily load shedding and power outages, the government must say with certainty when the load shedding will end,” he said.
Communities on New Providence have been rocked with hours-long periods of blackouts as part of BPL’s load shedding exercise due to its inability to meet consumer demand.
Over the weekend, BPL conducted nearly four-hour-long load shedding exercises.
Last month, BPL Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey insisted that there is no crisis at the power company, but Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) President Paul Maynard has vehemently disagreed, declaring that New Providence is experiencing a power crisis.
Yesterday, Davis expressed support for Maynard’s comments.
“I believe the union leader,” Davis said.
“They handle most of the operations, not the minister who is sitting in some ivory tower where his lights are off.”
BPL announced in March that Finnish technology group Wartsila will install a new 132-megawatt engine power plant at Clifton at a cost of $95 million to increase the generation capacity on New Providence.
Moxey has indicated that while the installation of rental generation will provide some relief from the outages, load shedding could be possible until the installation of that new plant is complete.