B.E.L. rents standby power for dry season
With demand for electricity up,
Mexican power supplies tight,
and the dry season just around
the corner, Belize Electricity
Limited is taking no chances.
Today it announced that it will
rent six diesel generators
capable of producing an
additional ten megawatts of power over the next
five months. B.E.L.'s Derek Davis explains that the
extra capacity will tide the utility over until new
sources come on stream.
Derek Davis, Vice President for Energy Supply
"The load is growing year by year. Last year we saw
2002 over 2001; we saw approximately eight percent
growth. We are expecting another eight to ten percent
02-03. And therefore we have to continue to be
adding capacity. The situation is we have two major
projects on stream right now, the Chalillo project,
which has been delayed for a few years. We also have
the gas turbine project, which, however, will not be
completed for this dry season. That's gonna be
completed approximately in July 2003. In effect, in our
planning process we had identified that we're going to
be need additional capacity. So we needed to source
that capacity from either, say, Mexico, or rent units.
We tried Mexico, given the fact that it would be
cheaper, but Mexico is saying we cannot assist this
time because we have capacity concerns of our own.
And therefore we have no other option but to rent
units. The fact that they're coming in now, is that if
you are renting units, you don't bring them in early,
you bring them in when you need them."
The five-month rental from Gentrac Limited will
cost B.E.L. two point one million dollars. The units
will be located in Ladyville. Commissioning of a new
two hundred and fifty megawatt plant in
Campeche, Mexico, sometime after March, should
provide further backup for any increase in demand
or shortfall in electricity supply.