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#422996 - 11/23/11 01:04 PM $5.5 M Grant for Electrification of Communities
Marty Offline
Several communities throughout the country will benefit from electricity supply within the next two years, with the implementation of a tripartite venture between the European Union (EU), the Government of Belize (GOB) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL).

A ceremony was held this morning at BEL’s Corporate Headquarters for the signing of a contract for a BZ$5.5 million grant to extend the national electricity grid and provide safe and reliable electricity to these communities.

The project is being financed 75% through the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of Countries (ACP) – EU Energy Facility II Grant Funds and 25% counterpart contribution from GOB.

Signatories to the contract were EU Country Representative in Belize, Cosimo Lamberti Fossati, and BEL’s Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey Locke. Also present at the signing was CEO in the Ministry of Economic Development, Yvonne Hyde, who represented the Government of Belize.

Under the agreement, the EU will ensure that the project is implemented in accordance with EU guidelines, based on fairness and transparency.

Communities that will benefit from the project include: Steadfast, Belize City’s Belama Phase 4, Belmopan’s Salvapan and Maya Mopan, Dangriga’s Wagirale and Rivas Estate, Independence’s New Site and Noralez Extension, Benque Viejo Town, the villages of Cotton Tree, Valley of Peace, Ontario, Hattieville, Rockstone Pond, Soccutz, San Lazaro, Guinea Grass, Paraiso, San Narciso, Patchakan, Carmelita, Libertad, Hope Creek, Sarawee, Hopkins, San Roman Village, Seine Bight and Bella Vista.

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#423017 - 11/23/11 02:29 PM Re: $5.5 M Grant for Electrification of Communities [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
OVER 34 VILLAGES TO GET ELECTRICITY SUPPLY

Belize Electricity Limited has entered into a tripartite venture with the Government of Belize and the European Union. A ceremony was held this morning at BEL’s Corporate Headquarters for the signing of a contract for a five point five million dollars grant to extend the national electricity grid and provide safe and reliable electricity to a number of communities. Signatories to the contract were EU Country Representative in Belize, Cosimo Lamberti Fossati and BEL’s Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Locke.

Jeffery Locke – CEO, Belize Electricity Limited
“We’re talking about 34 communities and what will happen is that over the years they have been unable to get reliable electricity supply so this is safe, reliable electricity supply unto those communities; that affects quality of life. The next benefit it has is that it also spurs development in those communities. You now have small businesses that could go in the communities because they have reliable electricity supply. You also find that wherever BEL goes, you have the other services, telephone and cable that follows so it is not only the electricity supply but the full utility package except for water. In actually gaining the grant for the project, BEL submitted a project plan which shows over the next two years which villages they will be doing. What we will be doing in the next couple of weeks is revisit that plan and make sure that it is still applicable and then the EU will be informing the Government and also making public announcements as to stage by stage which villages we will be handling one at a time. Projects like these if you look at BEL model are not economical on its own so thanks to funding from the EU and Government it brings the funds that we need to these projects. What this does is that it means that we don’t burden the average consumer with the capital investment we need to make for these communities and so that way it helps to ease the pressure on rates and so on.”

Fossati spoke of the EU’s involvement in the project.

Cosimo Lamberti Fossati – EU Country Representative
“This grant is financed under what is called the ACP EU Energy Facility II so it is an agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to channel funds into energy. There was a first round a couple years ago targeting African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and that’s the second time it is going through. It is our task to oversee that the funds are spent properly so there is a set of rules which is spelt out in the contract and it is the responsibility of the grantee which in this case is BEL to follow up what is in there. We have since last year an office in Belize that we did not have before so it will be easier for us to go out in the field and see how things proceed. In the contract there is a list of villages and there is a schedule of the activities so based on that we plan to follow up and go with BEL and see how things are proceeding.”

Emerson Spence is BEL’s Western and Southern Zone Coordinator.
“Belize Electricity Limited in its constant quest to provide electricity to areas of Belize that are marginalized and economically depressed sought out funding from the European Union after the company became aware that the EU was accepting proposals under its ACP EU facility II source of funding. BEL submitted a proposal to the EU for the expansion of electricity in several rural communities throughout Belize. The proposal was approved by the EU on the terms that the EU would finance 75% of the total cost of the project but a 25% counterpart contribution was required before BEL could access the grant fund. BEL then invited the Government of Belize to join in as a partner and provide 25% counterpart contribution. The Government readily agreed and now we have a tripartite venture between the EU, the Government of Belize and BEL where the EU and the Government will provide the funding and BEL will contribute its technical expertise and administer the project.”

With the implementation of the venture it is expected the over 30 communities will benefit from electricity supply within the next two years.

LOVEFM

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#423034 - 11/23/11 03:26 PM Re: $5.5 M Grant for Electrification of Communities [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
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