Amid criticism of Bahamas Power and Light’s (BPL) intention to sell stations A and D at the Clifton Pier Power Plant to Shell North America, BPL Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey yesterday assured that the company’s goal is to stabilize electricity at a low cost to consumers while providing an opportunity for Bahamians to have access to ownership.
“What I want the Bahamian people to understand and recognize is that we understand that utilities are critical to our infrastructure and our future,” he said.
“So, our goal has always been to stabilize electricity, get it at the lowest possible cost and then make sure that Bahamians have an opportunity to actually participate when it comes to ownership and return on investment in whatever we do, and that’s always been our goal since day one.
“That’s what we’re working toward.”
BPL’s decision to sell both stations received backlash particularly from the business community’s energy industry, and the Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU).
Last week, Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation’s (BCCEC) Energy and Environment Committee Chairperson Deborah Deal slammed the proposed sale and said it doesn’t make sense as the purpose of having Shell construct station A was because the company did not have the money to fund the project on their own.
Meanwhile, BEWU President Paul Maynard called for BPL to get back any money it paid for its newest plant from Shell.
Moxey told The Nassau Guardian that those responses are expected as the company deliberately did not share all aspects of the deal with the public.
“So, one of the things that we were very careful of, because we were still in negotiations, is really how much we told and how much we shared publicly,” he said.
“There are still a lot of things that need to be negotiated out that are very sensitive.
“So, I certainly understand the reactions that members of the public have all the time about certain things that we put forth.
“Sometimes we can respond and sometimes we can’t because of the situation that we’re in with respect to negotiations. So, what I can say is that over the next several days and as we move through with the Shell North America deal, there will be more than enough opportunities to explain everything clearly.”
Moxey revealed that the company plans to sell both stations nearly two weeks ago.
Station A, consisting of 132-megawatts, was released in December, and station D, with 90-megawatts, is set to begin construction in March.
According to Moxey, Shell will create an entity which will purchase the plants from BPL.
Shell will have its own Bahamian entity known as Power Co, and BPL will retain some level of ownership as an operating and commercial entity.
He also said that there will be an initial public offering, allowing Bahamians to have an opportunity to own Power Co.
He did not indicate when the sale would take place or how much the stations will be sold for, as negotiations are ongoing.