The Belize Electric Company Limited, BECOL, a company owned by Fortis Inc., today broke ground for the construction of a headquarters building in the Cayo District. The location is at Mile 69 on the George Price Highway. BECOL, which lost its majority ownership of the Belize Electricity Limited when government nationalized the company in June 2011, currently operates three hydro-electric facilities including the Mollejon Hydroelectric Power Plant, the Chalillo Dam and the Vaca Hydroelectric Power Plant. Its office is located at the Mollejon Hydroelectric plant and according to President and CEO, Lynn Young, the office is too remote and following a bad accident in the recent past, they decided it was time to upgrade.
“Originally BECOL’s office was at the Mollejon Hydroplant and it’s a distance away, it was a difficult for employees traveling in and out every day in fact we had a bad accident a few years ago on that road. So when we looked at we said that we are a part of the Benque San Ignacio Community and we need to put our office out here. We rented an office but we want to make a permanent residence in this part of the country. It’s a really beautiful part of the country so we are putting a permanent office her and BECOL is all about green energy, in fact our new motto is Green Reliable Energy Powered by Nature and so we wanted our office to represent that and especially this part of the country eco-tourism is such a big part of the country 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 have 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 is going to be a part of the whole construction. In fact their idea is to build the parking lot with solar panels as the covering and that kind of thing so those are the kinds of things we want to do so it’s going to enhance the area in terms of how it looks, it’s going to represent who we are; a company that is committed to green and environmentally friendly renewable energy.”
President and CEO of Fortis Inc., Barry Perry says the building’s design is a modern one, in line with the company’s position as the largest renewable energy supplier in the country, incorporating energy saving and renewable energy concepts.
“This is more now that our business here is BECOL and we finally felt that it was time to set down permanent space. Lyn Young came forward with this plan and I supported it and I think the community supports it as well and we are very happy to be at this stage and hopefully a year from now we will be back with our new building constructed and the folks from San Ignacio will be happy with it.”
The building is estimated to cost about a million US dollars.