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Oct 20, 2014

8 Energy Provision Proposals Shortlisted by PUC

John Avery

The Public Utilities Commission has selected eight project proposals for phase one of the Request for Proposals for Energy Generation.  This comes after the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities and Belize Electricity Limited identified the need for additional sources of energy to the national grid.  That is a total of sixty megawatts of firm capacity between 2015 and 2023.  One of those companies who placed a bid was SS Energy Ltd., a subsidiary of the Santander Group which operates Green Tropics Ltd. in Belize.  The contention is that the principals of that company are believed to be Guatemalan nationals and with everything that is presently taking place between both countries Belizeans are apprehensive of that move.

 

John Avery, Chairman, Public Utilities Commission

“They did say in the bid that the four persons who are the major shareholders are—what’s the terminology they used—A-class businesspeople in Guatemala.  Now these people submitted a proposal to us based on the rules of our R.F.P.  If they are awarded a P.P.A. and that project is built by setting up there they have agreed to be subjected to our laws and under our laws, well before we get to the laws, the R.F.P., we indicated in the R.F.P. that any P.P.A. will include step in rights for B.E.L.  In other words, if that project is built and the person who owns the project is not operating the project according to the agreement, that sort of thing B.E.L. will have the rights under certain circumstances to step in and actually take over operation of the company.  They won’t own it but to take over operations.  Under our laws too, in times of emergency, and we’ve seen this happen twice in the past, the government has the authority again to assume control of any generating asset in this country under certain circumstances in the public interest and that has happened twice recently.  In 2009, when we had lost supply from Mexico, the minister had issued a warrant taking control of a third unit owned by BAPCOL and the minister then signed a three-party agreement with B.E.L., BAPCOL and himself for BAPCOL to use that third unit to generate and sell B.E.L. while we didn’t have the supply from Mexico.”

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