ANGLEC CONFRONTS FUEL CHALLENGES

The content originally appeared on: The Anguillian Newspaper

Anguilla Electricity Company Ltd. Power Plant

Several months ago, two directors of the Board of the Anguilla Electricity Company Ltd. (ANGLEC) announced via a radio broadcast that the electricity company was financially strapped and had difficulty meeting financial obligations to its creditors.Since that announcement, ANGLEC was able to collect a small amount of its outstanding debt but still struggles financially as fuel prices continue to increase – almost daily, and with no apparent signs of relief in the near term.

Meanwhile, yesterday, June 23rd, 2022, an announcement was made on Klass FM radio programme Thursday Sit Down, that the newly appointed CEO, the Board of Directors, and the management team of ANGLEC are working vigilantly to create a clear way forward for the company.

ANGLEC’s Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Jemila Morson-Hodge, spoke on the company’s behalf during the interview and reiterated ANGLEC’s stance to make every effort to address the financial burdens from the inside out, stating that “every cost to the company and every outstanding debt to the company has to be addressed in short order.”

In a press statement released on Wednesday, June 22nd, ANGLEC announced its awareness of the economic challenges facing Anguilla and its intention to avoid another increase in the fuel surcharge, which would lead to higher consumer electricity rates. While this is the goal, there can be no guarantees that ANGLEC can prevent an increase if the current cost of diesel fuel continues to rise. Morson- Hodge also addressed this concern noting that the last increase to the current rate of EC$0.45 was a difficult but necessary decision, made with much consideration from ANGLEC, The Board of Directors, and the Government. While it was not the total increase required to meet the market demands at the time, the PRO noted that the increase marked the highest rate issued since she joined the company in 2016. While immediate and thorough measures are currently underway to address the financial burden on the company, primarily brought on by the cost of fuel, ANGLEC has assured its employees that it is taking creative and proactive measures to reduce costs and minimise expenditures. These cost-saving measures will not include job losses and will all aid in ensuring the efficiency of service delivery.

As was stated in the press release, the company is actively pursuing the migration to renewable energy, which will require the full support of all stakeholders – including the Government.The leadership team is appealing to all stakeholders, especially Government, to assist in helping to move this process forward as quickly and efficiently as possible so that consumers can benefit from much lower rates of electricity and Anguilla is better positioned for inward investment.

CEO, Mr. Sutcliffe Hodge, seeks to ensure that ANGLEC provides the most energy services possible for Anguilla. The goal is to make infrastructure additions built to withstand extreme hurricane conditions, have a mix of renewable energy technologies (primarily wind and solar), and have a large battery storage capacity capable of powering the island.

A final takeaway from the radio programme on Thursday is that the management team at ANGLEC remains optimistic about the company’s future if strategic steps are taken immediately to address the volatility that exists with respect to rising fuel prices. The team is encouraging all residential and business owners to move quickly in a united way, supporting ANGLEC through this transitionary period to renewable energy.