On Thursday, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) issued a statement on the ongoing Requests for Proposals for Energy Generation (RPFEG), facilitated by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
COLA calls on the PUC to delay its reported decision, which is to be announced on Friday, in order to have the public hear from each of the eight shortlisted candidates which are going through a final simulation phase, prior to approval for power purchase agreements with Belize Electricity Limited (BEL).
The release raises several objections against some of the projects, while praising the Cohune Energy proposal. On the matter of the three hydro-electric projects proposed by Southern Renewable Energy Limited (SREL) for dams on the Swasey River in Toledo and a second Chalillo Dam on the Macal River in Cayo, the organization says these have not shown adequate financing details. The organization warns that it will not support any attempts to raise financing through a bond, which it says will put the Belizean people at unnecessary financial risk.
Additionally, it raised concerns that one of the company’s backers is Anwar Barrow, current chairman of the Board of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), and calls on him to disclose any interest he may have in SREL.
COLA says the “Government should prevent SS Energy, a Guatemalan-owned company, which is proposing a bagasse project, and other Guatemalan business interests from working in Belize in the interest of national security.”
COLA also rejects the proposed “clean coal” plan as “anachronistic and environmentally unfriendly” among other things, saying there is a move away from coal as an energy source to cleaner and more renewable sources.