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Minnis: No evidence of power deal

  • Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis addresses questions from reporters following a brief tour of the Ministry of Works on John F. Kennedy Drive yesterday.

  • Ministry of Works Permanent Secretary Colin Higgs (left) leads Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis (right) on a brief tour of the Ministry of Works on John F. Kennedy Drive yesterday.

  • Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis (right) greets a member of the public following a tour of the Ministry of Works on John F. Kennedy Drive yesterday. PHOTOS: Ahvia J. Campbell

ROYSTON JONES JR.
Guardian Staff Reporter
royston@nasguard.com

Published: May 19, 2017

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Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said yesterday while he has not seen evidence that the previous administration signed an energy deal with a U.S. company, if such an agreement was made it would be reviewed carefully.

Minnis, who spoke to The Nassau Guardian following a tour of the Ministry of Works, was asked whether he had reviewed the agreement former Prime Minister Perry Christie alluded to on Monday night during his farewell address.

Christie said if followed through the agreement would bring about more affordable and reliable power in The Bahamas.

Minnis said, “I don’t know if they signed it. Don’t listen to what they say.

“I don’t know if it is signed, but we have said repeatedly that we are going to move towards alternative energy.

“We’re going to try to introduce a national solarization program because we would like to bring the cost of energy down.

“That is very prohibitive for businesses and you know the problems it causes [for] homeowners.

“It’s very, very expensive. So, we will do all we can to bring that cost down.”

Asked whether he has seen or reviewed any documents relating to New Fortress Energy, Minnis said he has not.

“I’ve heard things, but I won’t speak to what I don’t have facts to.”

But Minnis assured that his government will look at whatever has been done or committed to by the former government.

Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest has said the government will look into negotiations for a liquified natural gas power facility to be built near the existing power generation plant at Clifton Pier.

After it was revealed in the media last week Monday that the Christie administration was involved in negotiations with a number of energy sector players, including New Fortress Energy, the Office of the Prime Minister released a statement regarding the energy proposals.

It said the government was giving consideration to the short and long-term power demands in the country.

The OPM said this consideration was aimed at improving the efficiency of supply and to make it more affordable.

The Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) fears the announced agreement could mean job cuts at BPL.

BEWU President Paul Maynard called on the government to immediately review what has been done.

Noting that the union was not consulted about the negotiations, Maynard said the union will not support any deal that is not in the best interest of his membership.

 


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