URCA fines BPL

Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) has been fined $229,535.34 for its failure or refusal to provide information regarding its fires last year and its load shedding over the summer, the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) revealed last night.

A determination was made on Tuesday that BPL had breached section 74 of the Electricity Act (EA) of 2015 and conditions 12 and 24 of the Public Service Electricity Service License (PESL) “by having failed and/or refused to fully comply with URCA’s requests for information made in accordance with the EA and PESL”, according to the authority.

“URCA considered the alleged contraventions of the EA and license conditions by BPL to be repeated and continuing breaches,” URCA noted in a statement.

“URCA further considered that the failure and/or refusal by BPL to provide the information requested in accordance with the EA and the license was sufficiently serious to warrant the imposition of a fine.

“Therefore as a result of the breaches, BPL has been ordered to pay a fine in the total amount of $229,535.34. The fine must be paid no later than 30 calendar days from the issuance of this order. Payment of such fine shall be as directed by URCA.”

The authority said that on March 8, 2019 and July 16, 2019, URCA gave BPL notice by letter that it had initiated two investigations.

“The first was in reference to a significant fire at BPL’s Clifton Pier Power Station on September 7, 2018. The fire caused widespread outages on New Providence and resulted in the loss of significant generation capacity,” URCA stated.

“The second investigation concerns BPL’s announced load shedding during summer 2019. As a result of the load shedding, BPL’s system was impacted by frequent outages in the supply of electricity to customers, which has had a serious adverse impact on the public.”

BPL customers on New Providence were plagued with load shedding over the summer.

In July, BPL Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey suggested that several fires, which occurred in September 2018, were to blame as the fires had prevented the company from executing the full maintenance of the engines the year before.

A report by the Royal Bahamas Police Force Fire Services Department found that one of the fires was caused by an oil leak at Clifton Pier.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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