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Nov 15, 2019

B.E.L. Inaugurates New Branch Office in San Pedro

In the prime tourism island of San Pedro this morning, B.E.L. opened its first permanent branch office. With record tourism numbers, the utility company recognizes the need to keep up with the growing consumption of energy.  Today, B.E.L. officials were on the island where there is also a demand for green energy solutions.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A new branch office opened its doors to residents of San Pedro this morning, as Belize Electricity Limited continues to expand its services on Ambergris Caye.  With a growing demand for energy on the island, the utility company has had to measure up and doing so meant establishing itself permanently on Pescador Drive.

 

Sean Fuller

Sean Fuller, General Manager, Commercial & Retail, B.E.L.

“We’re very, very excited about this new office.  It really symbolizes our commitment to expand our services and improve on our services to our customers.  This office building costs approximately about seven hundred thousand dollars to be constructed.  It was done in almost record time and we are happy to say that it’s the first of many changes to our infrastructure to be able to serve our customers more efficiently throughout the entire country.”

 

The electrification of the island before the tourism boom is a story that is being handed down in oral tradition, from one generation of San Pedranos to the other.  That narrative is being passed on by Mayor Daniel Guerrero whose history of La Isla Bonita goes back many decades to when it was just a fishing village.

 

Daniel Guerrero

Daniel Guerrero, San Pedro Mayor

“In just under a hundred years, seventy-nine years, to be specific, we have gone from running a small generator installed in March 1931, to a company that is serving thousands in the tourism Mecca of Belize and the region.  You may not know this, but the first source of electricity on Ambergris Caye was installed by a German in March 1931 when we were still in the copra industry.  But as our economic base evolved so was the need to upgrade our electrical source.  Twenty years later, Mr. Jim Blake decided to invest in a larger electrical generator at a location called El Astiero, in English [it means] the Shipyard.  That new generator powered twenty to twenty-five families in the then San Pedro fishing village.  But perhaps the major boost came when Caribbean Fishing Cooperative was formed and the demand for proper storage for the marine products became essentially paramount.”

 

The transition from fossil fuel to clean energy has also been a major focus for businesses in San Pedro, as more and more hotels and restaurants are going green.

 

Sean Fuller

“We find that customers in San Pedro, like any other tourist destination, are looking for more green energy solutions.  So these customers in San Pedro and other tourist destinations are looking for solar solutions to make their businesses more green.  We all understand that the tourism market is very, very popular for green energy hotels and destinations so one of the primary needs that they have is to convert their energy to green energy solutions.  Another area that we find that residents of San Pedro are really, really interested in, as we mentioned earlier, is the conversion of these golf carts that you see traversing the island, these fossil fuel golf carts being converted back to electricity golf carts.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.


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