P.M. awaiting consent from CFE officials for better deal on electricity provided to B.E.L.

Turning to electricity, a delegation of officials from the recent government-acquired Belize Electricity Limited met with senior executives of Comision Federal de Electricidad of Mexico to negotiate new terms of a new agreement for the purchase of energy from the state-owned company. Led by former Prime Minister turned government advisor Manuel Esquivel and B.E.L.’s C.E.O., Jeffrey Locke, the team submitted a formal draft contract which is to be reviewed before approval by the entire board of CFE. Government wants either to get reduced rates for B.E.L. or to push up a ten million credit line with CFE. The prime minister broached the proposal with the Mexican President, while in Guatemala last month, but the details are still not finalized. According to P.M. Barrow, they are still awaiting the consent of CFE officials.

Dean Barrow

“There was an agreement in principle reached on various issues having to do with the terms and conditions under which the electricity is sold to us by CFE. There was to have been a formal draft contract that our side was to have submitted. I believe that’s already been dispatched to CFE. I don’t know that it’s yet been signed because the CFE’s board of directors would have had to meet and actually approve the contract. The negotiations took place at the level of the sort of general manager, I believe, of CFE. The agreement in principle being reduced now to writing in the form of a draft contract must actually be approved by the full board of CFE and I don’t think that has taken place yet.”

Isani Cayetano

“Is it a negotiation per se to see if we can get a better price on the cost of energy we’re purchasing from them?”

Dean Barrow

“That is precisely what it is and in principle it has been in fact agreed at the level of discussions, at the level at which CFE was represented in the negotiations with the B.E.L. C.E.O. and Sir Manuel [Esquivel] and Mr. John Mencias who also was part of the team and one other official from B.E.L. But as I said, that now has to be ratified by the CFE board. Without a doubt though that ratification will then see a reduction in the price to Belize at which CFE sells the electricity.”

Belize Electricity Limited currently purchases seventy percent of its supply from CFE.

Channel 5