Energy Disruptions Impact Bowen and Bowen’s Beverage Production

Energy Disruptions Impact Bowen and Bowen’s Beverage Production

The issue of energy availability due to load shedding by CFE Mexico has had varying impacts on businesses across the country. Bowen and Bowen the country’s largest beverage producer have not been exempt from these impacts. The company issued a statement today explaining that it is experiencing temporary disruptions in beverage production after voluntarily reducing power usage. Rosanna Villanueva, Corporate Relations Manager for Bowen and Bowen, said that the disruption has caused a general shortage as opposed to scarcity of a specific product. He noted that the situation is compounded by several of its equipment being down for scheduled maintenance.

Rosanna Villanueva, Corporate Relations Manager, Bowen and Bowen: “Bowen and Bowe Limited, our production facilities, we are one of the larger consumers for BEL. And based on the challenges that we’ve been facing with CFE and the limited capabilities of our system they have intermittently asked us to come off the grid totally, so that they’re able to supply the rest of the country, households and other critical services. So that has been affecting our production and of course then the supply of products in the market. Well, what happens is Benjamin is when we come off the grid and we are on generators, there is not enough power for all our lines to operate at the same time which is what we would normally be doing. So all our lines would normally be running all at the same time. So at that point, then we have to sort of pick and choose which lines are going to run and which lines will not run. So there’s no specific line that will get left out at any particular time. It’s just a matter of where we are at the time, what the market needs, our projections, things like that. So it’s something that we’ve been trying to manage. But yes, when we come off the grid, our production facilities do take a hit. Our lines are they’re machinery and as with any machinery, we have to do schedule maintenance to ensure that they keep running. So we schedule our maintenance a bit far in advance. So what happens sometimes is we might have the line down due to maintenance and then we’re asked to come off the grid and we have to halt production. So it tends to compound the issue. So if a line has been down for maintenance and then we can’t bring it up into operations because of power supply issues then that does compound the issue. We also have a backup generator being overhauled right now. That, when it comes back online, it’s going to help us a great deal. We expect that to be operational within the next couple of weeks. No, I mean, we appreciate the frustrations in the market but we also ask and we appreciate our customers and our partners their understanding. We are in constant communication with BEL. They are aware of our issues and how it affects us but I think as a good corporate citizen as well, we do try to work along with them because we realized that there are certain times that to allow them to be able to provide power elsewhere that yes, we do have to occasionally come off the grid. It is what it is and we’re managing it as best we can and we just ask our customers, our consumers to be patient with us. And we’re hoping that we all get through this together because we’re all going through it, not just Bowen and Bowen, it’s all of Belize and it’s something that we’re going to get through together and see things improve as we go along.”

Prime Minister John Briceno said yesterday that the government has been meeting with authorities in Mexico to work on solutions for the availability of energy. Briceno said that government is entering into an agreement to increase the cap on energy bought from CFE from 55 megawatts to 75 megawatts.

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