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BEL expands power grid

Banana farmers in the Stann Creek District now have access to safe and reliable electricity. Belize Electricity Limited has expanded its power grid with support from the European Union. Vonetta Burrell is the Public Relations officer at BEL.

Vonetta Burrell – Public Relations Officer

“It’s an investment made by the European Union with the support of the Government of Belize that was implemented by BEL through our own contributions. Its part of a $40 million dollar project that started in 2014 and will continue through to 2020. So this establishes a partnership that is ongoing and we are grateful for the funding that was provided by the European Union because if we are aiming to meet that target we need to make sure we can do it in the most cost effective manner as possible. To extend the national grid requires great investment and that investment comes at the cost of customers. We do not proactively seek ways to get funding when it’s available. So BEL has invested $35 million into this project that will span 2014-2020 and we are grateful for the partnership of the European Union and the Government of Belize who contribute to that project.”

The European Union’s Ambassador to Belize, Malgorzata Wasilewska , said it is heartening to see this phase of the project has impacted at least five hundred homes.

Malgorzata Wasilewska – EU’s Ambassador to Belze

“This particular work was an electrification project and it brought electricity to more than 500 households in 27 communities and 13 farms and I think it is a particular joy and pleasure for me to meet people from the community as well as to visit the farm to see and understand how European tax payer money is making a difference in people’s lives. Having electricity today for many of us is something we take for granted, putting the light on and using a fridge, being able to plug in your computer or phone for a charging and many of these people didn’t have it so it has already brought a huge difference in their lives. They can get up a little bit later or earlier because they can use electricity and life should be easier and should improve also their health and their ability to keep food in the fridge. For the banana growers this is a huge difference.”