The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) officially inaugurated its new offices today in San Pedro Town. It’s a major upgrade for the residents on the island since they are the fastest growing community in the entire country. Our news team was on the island for the event.
The new facility on Pescador Drive will now be the consolidated office of BEL’s entire operations on Ambergris Caye for the over 3,400 customers. The new facility was constructed at a cost of $700,000 and comes at an opportune time for the residents and business sector. General manager of Commercial and Retail Services at BEL is Sean Fuller. He explained that the event today shows the company’s commitment to the islander as well as the many tourists that visit Belize.
Michael Fuller, Commercial & Retail Services General Manager, BEL: “This opening ceremony symbolizes BELs commitment to improving our customer’s experience and expanding our services throughout Belize. Speaking at this location today on Pescador Drive I’m reminded of the history of our presence on the island. Up to 1998 this was the site of BEL’s power generating plant which housed diesel generations that supplied the island with power. After the generation units were decommission in 1998 and up to a few weeks ago the small green and white concrete building was used as an office space for distribution staff and warehouse. Our new 2,700 foot concrete building will greatly expand our capabilities to serve customers in a spacious and comfortable setting. This new office features an open and spacious customer reception area and a designated seating area for senior citizens. On the compound customers can conveniently park in the designated areas inclusive of handicap parking.”
Ambergris Caye’s first supply of electricity was back in March of 1931 which consisted of a single generator that provided for 20 families. Today BEL now has 12 miles of submerged cable from mainland Belize to Ambergris Caye and provides to 2,674 residents and 771 commercial businesses. Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero says that the growth on the island calls for the constant expansion of the utility companies.
Daniel Guerrero, Mayor of San Pedro Town : “Today BEL continues to be our only and prime source of electricity provider for the island of Ambergris Caye and when we look at the growth rate over the past twenty years BEL had no other options but to grow with us. Today’s event is evident of that growth of BEL on the island. We are happy that this new facility will provide our residents and tourism sector with a better level of service. For us this was long overdue and we’re happy to see that BEL acknowledges the importance of growing along with our tourism sector.”
Fuller says that the completion of the new building is just one aspect of BEL’s project for the residents on Ambergris Caye.
Michael Fuller, Commercial & Retail Services General Manager, BEL: “The next step in improving grid resilience and by extension enhancing our services to customers on San Pedro will be through the installation of a second high capacity submarine cable to ensure that we can adequately provide electricity to meet the ever growing demands of the island and improve our reliability of supply to our customers. We plan to complete this project in late 2021 or early 2022. Likewise plans are on the way to interconnect customers on Caye Caulker to the national grid in late 2020. This initiative anticipates positive environmental, long term economic and system reliability benefits to Caye Caulker.”
During an interview with the press Fuller said that the company is also working to improve their services to the nearby island of Caye Caulker.