Belize Electricity Limited Faces Disruption in Supply from Mexico
Belize Electricity Limited is currently on alert as the company is not benefiting from the supply of electricity from the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) in Mexico. The Mexican company placed BEL on notice that for five consecutive days they will not be able to provide the usual amount of energy. According to a release from BEL, this five day period is from February 5 to the 9th, between the hours of seven in the morning, and five in the evening. Despite this hiccup, BEL’s release was aimed at reassuring customers that they are working in collaboration with our local Independent Power Producers to maintain a reliable and stable supply of power to our Customers throughout the times when the interconnection with CFE is unavailable. Speaking on this issue of energy supply is the CEO in the Ministry of Public Utilities, Jose Urbina.
Jose Urbina, CEO, Ministry of Public Utilities, Energy, E-Governance: “When we look at the release from BEL it’s really asking residents or consumers within the electricity sector to be more energy efficient. As from the ministry perspective we are diligently trying to improve our electricity generation within the electricity generation sector because we have identified that there are some shortfalls and the reality is that the load within country is increasing and keeps increasing year over year. And so BEL has been sounding that alarm since last year that we need to enhance, we need to generate more power, electricity in country so that we are able to reduce our consumption coming from Mexico. What we are doing as a government, and you mentioned it, is that we’re working with low finance loans, as it is the Saudi funds, to be able to establish a 60 megawatt solar farm in country. We have had discussions with BEL. We have also had discussions with the regulator, the Public Utilities Commission, in terms of how do we start the aggressive deployment of these solar infrastructure in country and along with that we have been having discussions in terms of how do we modernize the infrastructure to be able to inject this generation of electricity within the BEL transmission and distribution grid.”
The Belize Electricity Limited goes further to assure Belizeans that they do have sufficient in-country capacity from local energy sources, including hydro, biomass, fossil fuel, solar and BEL’s owned gas turbine (GT), to meet the energy demand countrywide. According to the Mexican company, they are conducting planned maintenance on the interconnection between BEL’s transmission grid and CFE’s substation at Xulha. Customers are still asked to assist in managing energy demand by practicing energy conservation where possible, to alleviate excess demand for electricity during this time.