Castries, Saint Lucia, October 10th, 2019: In the wake of the devastation of the Bahamian island of Abaco by Hurricane Dorian from September 1st to 3rd, the Caribbean Electric Utility Corporation (CARILEC) has been focused on mobilizing and coordinating the response from Caribbean utilities to expedite the restoration of the electrical infrastructure in the shortest possible time. This initiative falls under the CARILEC Disaster Assistance Programme (CDAP), which is CARILEC’s regional response mechanism for joint manpower disaster assistance in the power sector.
Under the CDAP, CARILEC’s response is activated following a request for assistance from the affected utility. During a special sitting of the CARILEC Board a week following the passage of Dorian, an executive contingent led by Deputy Chairman Mr. Leroy Abraham was deployed to Nassau, Bahamas to determine the needs based on the key findings of the damage assessment conducted and the restoration plans.
The September 19th meeting with Bahamas Power and Light Company (BPL) CEO Whitney Heastie and Chief Operations Officer Ian Pratt outlined an extensive scope which includes as urgent priorities, the rebuilding of infrastructure focusing on critical services such as Water and Sewerage, hospitals and the government complex; rebuilding of main lines, transmission lines and substations; repairing or rebuilding of entire systems in Cays normally connected to the mainland, to return them to service; the rebuilding of infrastructure on nine Cays and the sourcing, transportation and installation of critical components such as generators.
CARILEC is currently finalizing the quantum of manpower, comprising linesmen deployed from its utility members. The Corporation is also canvassing for financial and material resources from its extensive network of corporate and NGO partners across the globe. On their end, the BPL is finalizing arrangements to expedite the clearance of incoming materials and supplies, and are the preparation of a campsite on Abaco to accommodate assisting linesmen. Arrangements are being made by the CARILEC Secretariat, the assisting utilities and BPL for the deployment of the first set of crews to Abaco Island during the coming week. To date nine utilities have committed a combined total of 58 linesmen for the rebuilding mission. However, manpower will be considerably boosted with the imminent disclosure of the scale of their input from five more confirmed Utility Members.
Since the launch of the CDAP in 1998, CARILEC has provided joint manpower restoration assistance on more than twenty separate occasions to several Utility Members.
The Caribbean Electric Utility Service Corporation (CARILEC) is an association of energy solution providers and other stakeholders operating in the electricity industry in the Caribbean. CARILEC was established in 1989 with nine (9) members as part of an electric utilities modernization project funded by USAID and implemented by NRECA under a five-year “Co-operative Agreement.” Currently, CARILEC comprises a total of one hundred and seventeen (117) members. This includes thirty-four (34) Full Members that are electric utilities, and over eighty (80) Associate and Affiliate Members that are companies involved in some aspect of servicing the electric utility business.
For more information contact:
Alana T. Raymond
Manager, Marketing and Member Services
Phone: 758 731 7111 /7122