Miller: Power Plant Proposal Could Save Bec $85-$100m In Fuel Costs

THE Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) would see savings of between $85-$100 million

if a new power plant was constructed in the next 30 months according to its executive chairman Leslie Miller, who touted the corporation’s own power generation proposal as superior to any plan presented to the Government.

While the Government has received numerous proposals mainly from foreign firms for power generation solutions for New Providence Mr Miller said that BEC’s advantage was that it already had the necessary infrastructure in place. Mr Miller argued that the nation’s major electricity provider did not need to purchase electricity, while noting however that “if the price is right” a proposal should be looked at and carefully scrutinised.

“All of these companies are talking about saving us money but we were the first ones to present to the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister a plan that we did which was approved by one of the major accounting firms in the country and one of the major contractors associated with electricity plants. We showed that if BEC put up a new plant in the next 30 moths we would see savings of between $85 and $100 million in our fuel costs that would be passed on directly to the general public. No one else can offer you that because no one else has the infrastructure. All of these firms are coming here saying they want to sell BEC electricity but they can’t provide us with electricity cheaper than we are producing right now,” said Mr Miller.

Mr Miller noted that last weekend BEC’s Clifton power station was producing electricity at $0.17 cents per kilowatt hour at from around $0.28 cents per kilowatt hour.

“That happened because we are working hard with the management and staff to see to it that very single engine is running at optimal capacity. Bahamians are capable of running BEC in meaningful and profitable way. That is why as chairman and a former minster I don’t pay much attention to any of these companies because I know we were developed our own plan and our plan in our opinion is superior to any plan they have because BEC owns the infrastructure,” said Mr Miller.

Mr Miller said: “I think it is very dangerous that a foreign entity can have a gun to your head saying they are going to control your electricity plant by selling BEC electricity. BEC does not need to buy electricity, we are producers. I’m not saying if the price is right we shouldn’t look at it and scrutinise it.”

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Keod Smith - Keod Smith

Keod Smith is a Barrister in The Bahamas practicing at Commercial Law Advocates, Trinity Place Nassau.

He served as a Member of Parliament for 2002 – 2007 and as Ambassador for the Environment and Chairman of the BEST Commission from 2002 to mid 2006.

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