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Feb 4, 2008

B.E.L. will purchase power from Bowen shrimp farm

Belize continues to diversify its sources of electrical energy. Today Belize Electricity Limited and Belize Aquaculture Limited announced the signing of a fifteen year agreement under which the shrimp farming operation will sell up to fifteen megawatts of firm generating capacity to the national grid. The cost of the power will fluctuate with the world price of oil, but at the present ninety U.S. dollars per barrel level, the price will be around fourteen cents U.S. per kilowatt hour. This is similar to what B.E.L. now pays for electricity from Mexico. A spokesperson for B.E.L. told News Five that the power from Belize Aquaculture, which will come on stream in February of 2009, will provide an excellent alternative source of power in case of problems with the Mexican supply or the existing two hydro plants at Chalillo and Mollejon on the Macal River. 2009 should mark the start of energy independence for Belize as that is when the eighteen megawatt Vaca hydro plant comes on stream as well as B.S.I.’s thirty-one point five megawatt cogeneration plant at Tower Hill. B.E.L.’s other sources of power include Hydro Maya in Toledo and a gas turbine generator at mile eight on the Western Highway. The Belize Aquaculture plant, located on the approach to the Placencia Peninsula, uses high efficiency engines that run on heavy fuel oil or diesel.

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