CFE to cancel guarantee power supply to Belize

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 19, No. 43            November 12, 2009

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There is bad news coming from the sole public power supply company in Belize. The bad news is that Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) informed the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) that they are cancelling the guaranteed power supply contract to Belize.    

    In a press release issued last week, BEL dropped the bomb stating that CFE is cancelling the guaranteed power supply contract with BEL, due to what’s called “Force Majeure” reasons. In other words, CFE is experiencing a natural and unavoidable catastrophe which is interrupting the power supply in Mexico. In its reasons, CFE cites that its generation capacity has been significantly limited, as a result of problems with gas availability, generation equipment and shortfall in hydroelectric production.    

    So is there reason to be alarmed? Well, according to the BEL press release, the company does have enough local generation power to meet Belize’s energy need without CFE. BEL says that the local generation sources, includes the Hydro Maya Limited, the plant at Belize Aquaculture Limited in the south and BEL’s Gas Turbine Unit at mile 8 can supply the countries needs. In addition CFE is also offering a new contract that will only provide economic and emergency power to Belize with up to 50 megawatts. That power according to BEL will be more expensive than what Belize would be paying under the current contract.    

    The guarantee power supply contract which was due to expire in December of 2010 was suspended from April to September but since CFE notifying its Belize counterparts, BEL has been supplying the country with local generated power. CFE supplies Belize with a third of the country’s power supply.
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