Minister Assesses Green Turtle Cay Utility Needs

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Minister of State for Public Utilities the Hon. Phenton Neymour (second left) speaks with Bahamas Electricity Corporation employee and Green Turtle Cay Town Council member Floyd Johnson (right) during a tour of the BEC facility on the island, on October 24, 2007. Also pictured, from left, are Undersecretary at the Ministry of Public Works and Utilities Calvin Balfour, BEC Chairman Kevin Basden. Partially hidden in the background is Senior Deputy Administrator for North Abaco Theophilus Cox. Minister Neymour led a delegation to the island to see firsthand the electrical and water needs of the island. (BIS photo: Kristaan Ingraham)

By: Eric Rose

NEW PLYMOUTH, Green Turtle Cay– Minister of State for Public Utilities the Hon. Phenton Neymour led a delegation of senior Ministry officials and officials of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) and the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) to see firsthand the water and electrical needs of Green Turtle Cay residents Wednesday.

Senior Deputy Administrator for North Abaco Theophilus Cox said that Green Turtle Cay residents were looking forward to Minister Neymour’s visit because of their concerns with utilities, especially water.

“They depend on the water tanks and whenever there is a drought or no rain, they have a problem with potable water,” he said. “In some cases they had to barge water from the mainland and they are very concerned because they really need water. It is the number one for them at this time.”

According to Minister Neymour, the water being barged from mainland Abaco is not as reliable as it should be for the residents and other plans must be put in place.

“We have initiated a plan to install water facilities here,” Minister Neymour said. “We are looking alternatives of either reverse osmosis or an underwater pipeline.”

“In the short term,” he continued, “reverse osmosis seems to be better; but in the long term for the true benefits to the Water and Sewerage Corporation and Green Turtle Cay, it would appear that an underwater pipeline is better.”

Minister Neymour pointed out that an underwater pipeline would require significant capital investment.”

As far as BEC is concerned, he said a new site was being sought out to run fuel pipelines for the generator on the island.

“The fuel line to the BEC facility here is extremely corroded and is longer in use and fuel is also being ferried across to the island,” Minister Neymour explained. “We consider that at this particular time, not the most cost effective and reliable way to bring fuel here.

“We are challenged in putting in a new fuel line because of the narrow streets – the concrete streets, which significantly increases the cost of replacing the line and also is creating significant disruptions, if we do so,” he added.

The Minister said the BEC facility is crucial on the island and they suffered interruptions due to inefficient fuel supply.

“It is crucial that we improve the efficiency of BEC on this island also,” Minister Neymour stressed.