Since the nationalization of the Belize Electricity Limited, in which Fortis maintained 33 percent shares in the company, BECOL CEO Lynn Young says they have maintained a good working relationship with the government.
“So when we looked at it we said you know what we are part of the San Ignacio/Benque community, we need to put our office out here. We rented an office and so we are actually in San Ignacio Town right now but we want to make a permanent presence in this part of the country. It’s a really beautiful part of the country so we are putting a permanent office here and BECOL is all about green energy, in fact our motto is green reliable energy powered by nature and so we wanted our office to represent that and especially in this part of the country, Ecotourism is such a big thing here for good reason. SO we want our office building to fit into that theme and so we got International Environments Limited they are architects and that is one of their specialties, they are league certified architects. They’ve already come up with the preliminary design; we’ve gone through the layout. It’s going to be energy efficient and we hope down the road that we can also put in some solar panels that’s going to be part of the whole construction. In fact their idea is to build the parking lot with solar panels as the covering, that kind of thing so those are the things we want to do. It’s going to enhance the area in terms of how it looks and it’s going to represent who we are, a company that is committed to green and environmentally friendly renewable energy.”
CEO and President of Fortis, Barry Perry says he hopes that with the cooperation of BEL, they can expand their facilities with a solar installation.
“We own three plants under BECOL which is Mollehon, Chalillo and Vaca. These hydroplants supply forty percent of energy consumed in the country and frankly at very attractive pricing for customers in the country. I think they’re critical infrastructure for Belize and our goal is to make sure those plants are run the best way we can and are maintained and available to be dispatched when BEL calls upon them and so we’ve been focused upon that. We owned BEL for a while, seventy percent, you know the history on that. This is more now that we are business here as BECOL and we finally felt that it was time to set down permanent roots basically. Lyn Young came forward as planned and I supported it and I think the community supports it as well so we’re very happy to be at this stage and hopefully a year from now we’ll be back with our new building constructed and the folks from San Ignacio will be happy with it.”
According to Perry, Fortis’ investment in Belize has amounted to over 350 million Belize dollars making it the largest investor in the electricity sector in the country, with its hydro plants providing 40 percent of Belize’s electricity.