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#407741 - 05/13/11 08:39 PM North CC Power
bmzm Offline
Does anyone have any news regarding the power to Caye Caulker North?

#407836 - 05/14/11 06:10 PM Re: North CC Power [Re: bmzm]
MikeD Offline
I found this article. Although it does not mention CC North, the economic situation for BEL is bleak. The article mentions that BEL does not have the ability to borrow money at this time. A project like connecting CC North with power is expensive and spending capital to fund a power interconnect that would be certain to lose money would not seem economically feasible.

That is just my opinion based on my experience with the utility business. I have no knowledge of what BEL is likely to is the article:


May 13, 2011

Belize Electricity Limited has been saying all along that it has been experiencing a cash-flow problem. When it presented its figures at its Annual General Meeting on Thursday evening, the picture did not look bright for BEL. The company revealed its profits decreased from eight point nine in 2009 to three point four in 2010. And, in a press release issued today, BEL states that if the increase in business tax had not been deferred, the situation would have been worse because the company would have recorded a loss of two point four million dollars. BEL says that the reduction in profits continues to reflect the decrease in the Value Added of Delivery component of electricity tariffs by the Public Utilities Commission, PUC, in its 2008 Final Decision. The BEL release states that because of the low profit margins, the company has been unable to meet its loan commitments and remains in breach of these covenants. BEL says it is unable to borrow and is restricted from paying dividends to its shareholders. This was something which shareholders were concerned because the last time they collected any kind of dividends was in 2008. The company, however, will continue all efforts to resolve the situation. BEL continues to rely on revenues collected from electricity sale to carry on with its business, and says that in 2010 alone, it invested forty four point three million dollars of revenues in improving its service. The increasing oil prices has also factored in significantly on the company’s pocket, with oil prices now around a hundred US dollars per barrel, and resulting in power supply from Mexico increasing by fifty one percent since this year began.

#407847 - 05/14/11 09:04 PM Re: North CC Power [Re: bmzm]
Fishmonger Offline
Show me one government run company in any country that is profitable.

Edited by Fishmonger (05/14/11 09:04 PM)

#407849 - 05/14/11 09:31 PM Re: North CC Power [Re: Fishmonger]
ron Offline
BEL is owned by a Canadian Company Fortiss Power is the name I think.

#407870 - 05/15/11 09:49 AM Re: North CC Power [Re: ron]
MikeD Offline
Originally Posted By: ron
BEL is owned by a Canadian Company Fortiss Power is the name I think.

RON, BEL is a privately held company since 1992. Here are the facts about BEL ownership from BEL's web site:

Up to 1992, the government of Belize was the sole owner of the Belize Electricity Board. Then under the Electricity Act, no. 13 of 1992, BEB ceased to function as it was privatized and became Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). In that year, the Minister of Energy and Communications issued a license under section 15 of the Electricity Act, 1992, granting BEL the exclusive authority to generate, transmit and supply electricity. The license was effective starting January 7, 1993, and is valid for 15 years.

Under the license, BEL has exclusive power to:

Generate electricity for the purposes of giving a supply to or enabling a premises in Belize;
Transmit electricity for the purposes of giving a supply to or enabling a supply to be given to any premises in Belize; and
Distribute and supply electricity to any premises in Belize as a public electricity supplier.
The license also defines BEL's areas of supply over which it has exclusive rights.

The Government of Belize divested itself of its 51% holding in the Company in October 1999. As of June 2006, Fortis Inc. of Canada held a 70.2% interest in BEL and the Social Security Board of Belize held 26.9% interest in the Company. The remaining shares are held by smaller shareholders in Belize.

At December 31, 2009, BEL had approximately 75,300 customer accounts and was meeting peak demand of 76 Megawatts. The Company's operating revenue was $186.6 million.

I also researched the power grid in Belize and found that there is a 35KV line to San Pedro...just a few miles away! That line is connected to the 115KV line to Mexico and BEL's hydro station. The real issue is that connecting the NORTH to CC south would require additional generation on the south island. Connecting the NORTH island to the power available on San Pedro would require miles of expensive underground cable. Neither solution seems likely to happen given the current economic situation.

#407879 - 05/15/11 03:15 PM Re: North CC Power [Re: MikeD]
ron Offline
Seems that Fortis Inc of Canada does own the majority of the control of BEL just like I pointed out. Whether there is enough power on the south island or San Pedro wasn"t part of the discussion. The previous poster was saying government owned utilities are inherently badly managed. You are correct that the South Island is now undergoing power blackouts because it cannot supply enough power to meet its own needs. To think that Fortis would want to incur the cost to not only upgrade their power plant and erect an extended grid on the north island isn't clear thinking. Since I have a good sized wind turbine, I really could care less about whether the power comes to the north island or not. For my 2 cents I'd look to install several large wind turbines between SP and CC and spread the power both north to meet the grid where it comes into SP and south to north CC and then build the grid southward. However, this is a big expense which privately held companies most likely wouldn't be interested in especially given the development on the north. So I guess we agree, power is coming but who knows where or when.


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