Deputy Prime Minister Davis: BEC decision process “in the best interest of the Bahamian people”

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Electricity Costs to consumers will be further reduced by 30%

Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Philip Brave Davis

Elcott Coleby

Bahamas Information Services

Further to the Prime Minister’s trip to Washington DC as both the Bahamas Prime Minister and CARICOM Chair, the government of The Bahamas decided to defer the announcement of the strategic partner for BEC until after interventions and discussions coming out of the energy security summit according to Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis. This decision making process is in the best interest of the Bahamian people.

The energy security summit is scheduled for the 26th and 27th January 2015 in Washington DC.

At that summit, United States Vice President Joseph Biden will deliver the policy position of the United States as regards energy security for the Caribbean region. The Prime Minister will also have an opportunity to reconcile both policies and to discuss The Bahamas’ energy reform initiatives with our friend to the north in the name of Joseph Biden and point out how his government’s P3 policy will facilitate the reduction in electricity costs by 30% in two years, making The Bahamas an increasingly competitive destination for tourism travel and foreign direct investment.

“The Prime Minister has indicated that he’s having a meeting next week with the vice president of the United States of America where energy will be discussed as the topic and he thought before they make the announcement perhaps he should hear what they are saying about this aspect of energy in the whole Caribbean” said Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis on Friday, 23rd January.

“So we think we are where we want to be and it’s only a question as to those things happening.”

The initial announcement to restructure the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) was advertized in the press in August 2013 with an initial launch date of May 2014. The initial reform model to split BEC into operational and administrative business entities was discontinued in favor of a strategic partner with the financial capacity to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into BEC under the government’s P3 policy with no impact on the national debt. As to the delay, the Deputy Prime Minister indicated that getting this huge undertaking right is well worth the wait.

“First of all, it is a monumental step we are taking and I think we want to ensure that what we are doing is in the best interest of the Bahamian people” said Mr. Davis. He also said that the government consulted extensively when it listened to, assessed and evaluated (inputs and advice from civil society and industry experts) before making a final decision.

The current cost of electricity in The Bahamas is around forty-four cents per kilowatt hour. The restructuring of BEC is intended to reduce this cost to consumers by 30% to around thirty-one cents based on current fuel and other input costs.