UNACCEPTABLE: Barbados PM says blackout must never happen again

The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, the islandwide blackout must never be repeated. (Photo: huffpost.com)

Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados, says the islandwide blackout that affected businesses, schools, residential areas over the past two days “must never happen again”, as the Barbados Light and Power (BL&P) company restored electricity across the island late Tuesday night.

“While that is absolutely good news, this government will not accept anything less than absolute resilience and redundancy in the provision of power to the people of this nation,” she told reporters following a meeting with officials of the sole power company here.

“This government will not accept anything less than absolute resilience and redundancy in the provision of power.”

— Mottley

Mottley said that her administration, which came to office 18 months ago, would ensure that Barbadians were provided with quality service and that as a short-term measure, the electricity company would be seeking to acquire back-up generators to supplement its services.

“I think we have shared our perspective as a government with the BL&P, and they have agreed in principle that we will work together to make sure that whatever is done, including 24-hour days, including multiple teams, that we will look and revisit every assumption that has been made that would otherwise see new generation capacity not coming onboard for another 12 to 18 months. This, we believe, is not tenable,” she said.

“We are going to manage this over the course of the next few days, but we have enough information before us to know that the question will be whether they can procure generating capacity immediately tomorrow, or whether they will have to rent in the interim for a few weeks and have generating capacity brought on the island while they procure the permanent one that will give the country at least the comfort of another minimum of 30 megwatts of power.”

Mottley said it was simply “not acceptable” that the last time the BL&P purchased new generators was 14 years ago and that the issue of compensation to consumers would be addressed at a later date.