Government and B.E.L. delegation returns from CFE negotiation
Former Prime Minister and government advisor Manuel Esquivel and a delegation from Belize Electricity Limited have returned from Mexico after concluding a first round of discussions with the Comision Federal de Electricidad. Esquivel was accompanied by C.E.O. Jeffery Locke and board members. Having nationalized B.E.L., the government is hoping that CFE, which supplies up to seventy percent of electricity to B.E.L., will agree to double its credit line to twenty million dollars, and well as reduce electricity rates to Belize. The request was first raised by Prime Minister Dean Barrow with Mexican President Felipe Calderon in Guatemala after the government took over the company on June twentieth. The Mexican president was reportedly receptive to the request but the specific details of the follow-up meeting have not been confirmed. B.E.L.ís debt stands at twenty-seven million dollars, eight million of which is owed to CFE. The government said it was necessary to acquire the company to avoid rolling blackouts, which could have occurred if B.E.L. was unable to pay its debts while privately owned. B.E.L. is also indebted to BECOL and BELCOGEN as well as consumers, according to the Public Utilities Commission.
Channel 5 Belize