The preferential rate that Belize has enjoyed over the years from its biggest consumer, the European Union EU, will come to an end when the EU changes its sugar regime at the end of this month. In preparation for that, ASR/BSI held a ground-breaking event last Monday to demonstrate their commitment to meeting the challenges head on. The company is making an investment to double the factory’s production capacity of direct consumption sugar which attracts a higher price than raw sugar in the markets opened to Belize. However, it would seem that the loss of the preferential rate is only one of the challenges the company seems to be facing. In a leak document, it was revealed that its subsidiary company Belize Co-Generation Energy Limited (BELCOGEN) is experiencing financial problems. BECOGEN was set up as a renewable energy alternative to produce electricity more efficiently by burning biomass, sugarcane fiber, or bagasse. The document Love News received is one sent by ASR/BSI to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, BSCFA, with a summary of BELCOGEN’s financial performance for the fiscal years 2010 to 2016. The documents show that BELCOGEN has made cumulative losses of about eleven million Belize dollars up to fiscal year 2016. Also BEL is claiming, that it has overpaid BELCOGEN over eighteen million dollars. Therefore, it seems with both the cumulative losses plus BEL’s claim hanging over its head, will BELCOGEN be unable to meet payment for bagasse? According to the documents, BSI/ASR has proposed to quote, “cement the formula and continue to make a payment for bagasse on that basis.” End of quote. BSCFA had also requested that BSI share BELCOGEN’s balance sheet but to that request BSI stated quote, “We do not see the rationale for providing the balance sheet as the relevant financial information has been provided to the financial challenges facing BELCOGEN. We believe the information provided should be sufficient to convince the BSCFA that BELCOGEN cannot afford to make any additional payment for bagasse.” End of quote. We’ll keep following this story.