Monday, January 20, 2020
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
OPPOSITION Leader Philip “Brave” Davis demanded the Minnis administration “come clean” on what it plans to do with Bahamas Power and Light.
He spoke after BPL Chairman Dr Donovan Moxey said last week the company intends to sell Stations A and D at the Clifton Pier Power Plant to Shell North America.
Mr Davis said in a statement yesterday: “Given the statements by the chairman for the company, it appears that without the leave of the Bahamian people through Parliament, the FNM has unilaterally decided that they are going to give the power generation portion for the company to a foreign entity. They never campaigned on this policy and were never given a public mandate to do so. There must be some public explanation for this.”
Mr Davis complained there is no coherent plan or vision for BPL.
“The plans left in place (by the Christie administration) were scrapped and purportedly replaced with nothing more than a memorandum of understanding with Shell North America to construct a 200 megawatts power generation station at their cost in exchange for a power purchasing agreement,” he said.
“The public then witnessed the implosion of the board with accusations of political interference and corruption stemming no doubt from the government’s decision to enter into another arrangement that conflict with the Shell MoU. In this competing agreement, Wartsilla constructed a 120 megawatts power generation station at our cost without any explanation as what was to become of the Shell deal.”
Mr Davis said supposed changes at BPL have deepened mistrust and heightened the Bahamian public’s uncertainty over the government-owned power provider.
“We are now being asked to swallow the fact that the Bahamian public will bear the cost of building two new power generation plants,” he said. “The FNM government will then sell the two new plants to a foreign company, namely Shell North America. Then BPL, already owned by the Bahamian people, will buy power from the foreign company at a price yet to be determined. The Bahamian people are then told that they will be able to buy shares in the foreign company once the details are settled.”
Mr Davis said Shell North America should be careful before entering into this transaction, likening the matter to BTC, which was controversially sold under the last Ingraham administration.