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Jan 8, 2003

B.E.L. rents standby power for dry season

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With demand for electricity up, Mexican power supplies tight, and the dry season just around the corner, Belize Electricity Limited is taking no chances. Today it announced that it will rent six diesel generators capable of producing an additional ten megawatts of power over the next five months. B.E.L.’s Derek Davis explains that the extra capacity will tide the utility over until new sources come on stream.

Derek Davis, Vice President for Energy Supply

“The load is growing year by year. Last year we saw 2002 over 2001; we saw approximately eight percent growth. We are expecting another eight to ten percent 02-03. And therefore we have to continue to be adding capacity. The situation is we have two major projects on stream right now, the Chalillo project, which has been delayed for a few years. We also have the gas turbine project, which, however, will not be completed for this dry season. That’s gonna be completed approximately in July 2003. In effect, in our planning process we had identified that we’re going to be need additional capacity. So we needed to source that capacity from either, say, Mexico, or rent units. We tried Mexico, given the fact that it would be cheaper, but Mexico is saying we cannot assist this time because we have capacity concerns of our own. And therefore we have no other option but to rent units. The fact that they’re coming in now, is that if you are renting units, you don’t bring them in early, you bring them in when you need them.”

The five-month rental from Gentrac Limited will cost B.E.L. two point one million dollars. The units will be located in Ladyville. Commissioning of a new two hundred and fifty megawatt plant in Campeche, Mexico, sometime after March, should provide further backup for any increase in demand or shortfall in electricity supply.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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