December 03, 2013
There are no Bahamian companies involved in the bidding process to take over the management of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) or its power generation, Minister of Works Philip Brave Davis said yesterday.
"My recollection is that no Bahamian companies placed bids," Davis said.
"In one instance, I think there was a conglomerate of Bahamians who came together with a foreign company and placed a bid for the management aspect of it, but they fell away at the second stage of the process."
However, Davis said the companies shortlisted have expressed interest in including Bahamians in an "equity and ownership" arrangement.
"So I would anticipate if the government at the end of the day decides to accept a recommendation for a provider of electricity, that provider will consider, and it's expected that they would consider, Bahamian involvement in the equity position in that entity," he said.
Davis said it is too early to say how much involvement a Bahamian company would have in BEC's planned reform.
"We expect that at the end of the day whether 10, 15 years from today there will be meaningful and significant Bahamian participation in either of the entities that will be awarded a contract to manage or generate electricity," he said.
Davis also explained that the planned reform of BEC is not a privatization process.
"What we are doing is we are inviting a partnership in the generation of electricity," he said. "That partnership is to be determined and what is expected is that whoever comes in they will be causing the capital investment to be made.
"As a result of that we will then work out an arrangement where, at the end of the day, the Bahamian people will eventually own that plant once the investor would have, or the company that is creating the generation would have recouped what is their capital and a fair return on that capital."
Last month, Davis told The Nassau Guardian that the government hopes to finalize a deal with successful bidders in January.
In August, Prime Minister Perry Christie said the contracts would be signed by the end of this year.
At the time, Christie said the government would look for private companies to offer power generation in The Bahamas and gain a management contract to take over transmission, distribution and customer billing.
In November, Davis said two companies were shortlisted by KPMG Bahamas to take over BEC's management and four were being considered to offer power generation.
Davis said the government expects to receive recommendations from KPMG on its preferred bidders this month.
KPMG is the government's financial advisor for the bidding process.
Davis said a significant evaluation factor in the government's request for proposals from bidders was their relationship with unions and staff.
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News date : 12/03/2013 Category : Nassau Guardian Stories