Thursday, October 12, 2017
By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
BAHAMAS Power and Light's (BPL) Board has developed a plan that will place the monopoly electricity provider back under Bahamian management, its chairwoman revealed yesterday.
Darnell Osborne told Tribune Business that the Board's proposal also includes a revision of the business plan from BPL's former manager, PowerSecure.
"We have come up with a plan on the way forward which includes revising the business plan, which was already done, but revising it minus PowerSecure. We will have that revised," said Mrs Osborne.
PowerSecure's BPL plan, which had been kept confidential for months under the former administration, was tabled in Parliament last month when Works Minister, Desmond Bannister, announced the Government had severed its management services agreement (MSA) with the US utility.
Mrs Osborne told Tribune Business: "The Board has also made other plans in terms of the restructuring of the company. We have had some discussions with the Minister. "We have proposed a restructure in terms of the best way forward for managing the company under Bahamian management. Some aspects of that have already been approved by the Minister. There should be more coming out on that next week."
PowerSecure, now a part of Southern Company, had a five-year operating agreement, which it signed in early 2016. That agreement provided for a maximum $25 million payout.
Since taking the helm, PowerSecure's efforts at restructuring the cash-strapped utility provider were marred by island-wide power outages in the capital, and on some Family Islands.
PowerSecure's BPL 'business plan' identified numerous areas of cost savings aimed at providing the energy cost reduction long sought by Bahamian businesses and households.
Besides fuel costs, the plan revealed that Bahamians were being billed for "as much as $14 million annually" for energy they do not consume, as a result of losses and pilferage from BPL's system.
PowerSecure had also suggested that BPL was over-staffed by about 30 per cent, and recommended that it slash the workforce by nearly 300 persons in a staggered downsizing to save $13 million per year.