BEL Manages Impacts of Unusually Hot and Humid Weather and Generation Supply Constraints

Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) says it is putting in place contingency measures to mitigate possible disruptions in the supply of electricity to our customers that could occur during the remainder of this week through to next weekend.

Unusually hot and humid weather conditions experienced countrywide have caused a sharp and unprecedented rise in electricity usage over the past few weeks. In fact, the demand for electricity at certain times during the first half of this week has already surpassed the peak demand that had been projected for this year by over 3.5%, and is expected to further increase over the next few weeks.

BEL states that this situation has been complicated by the sudden unavailability of the power plant owned and operated by the Blair Athol Power Company Limited (Bapcol), which has been taken out of service to undergo urgent maintenance on the generating units. Bapcol, along with BEL's Gas Turbine (GT) plant, serves as the main backup if supply is lost from CFE, Mexico, and also provides voltage support (to maintain normal voltage levels) in the southern region of the country during times of high demand for electricity. As it is, critical repairs on the segment of the transmission line that connects CFE to BEL's central substation at Mile 8 on the George Price Highway has had to be postponed until Bapcol is brought back online.

BEL says that it assures its sustomers that they continue to work arduously and in collaboration with its bulk power suppliers to address the immediate challenges impacting the grid and the shortage of in-country generation.

"We expect that these challenges will be resolved within the next 12 days. However, during this time, customers may experience periodic interruptions in their electricity service, especially if the high levels of electricity usage persist. We therefore ask customers to assist us by practicing energy conservation, where possible, in order to alleviate excess demand for electricity.

In the meantime, BEL continues to implement its longer term plan to bolster system capacity and reliability and build a modern energy services infrastructure by increasing in-country renewable energy generation, deploying battery storage solutions in strategic locations throughout the country, installing new transmission and substations, and modernizing our distribution network. We are convinced that the timely execution of this expansion plan is critical to achieving our mission of delivering safe, reliable, and sustainable energy solutions to our Customers and to support the growth and development of Belize in line with the Government's objectives."