Tuesday, Ocotber 27, 2015
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It is hard not to seethe when you take in what Barrow has done to each and every one of us! This very man who for years castigated and vilified former Prime Minister Musa over the Ashcroft Accommodation Agreement (ONE WHICH HE, BARROW PENNED) turns around and does exactly what he sanctimoniously condemned from his bully pulpit. 
Here for your own perusal is a the Executive Summary Deed of Confrimation and Assurance to Fortis/BECOL.
 
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: DEED OF CONFIRMATION AND ASSURANCE
 
As part of the settlement to the legal challenge to the constitutionality of the expropriation and nationalisation of the shares of Belize Electricity Limited, the Prime Minister bound the Government and people of Belize by a deed, (a written instrument that is signed sealed and delivered), to Barrow’s own version of the much vilified Accommodation Agreement but this time guaranteeing a rate of return to BECOL and Fortis for electricity supplied by its hydroelectric facilities in Belize for the remaining term of the existing power purchase agreements with Belize Electricity Limited – another 20 or so years.
 
By the terms of this Deed of Confirmation and Assurance the Government:-
1. By Clause 2.1 confirms and represents that BECOL will be allowed to carry on business in Belize “without interference” pursuant to all existing agreements relating to the operation and management of the Mollejon, Challilo and Vaca hydroelectric facilities including those provisions fixing the rates to be paid by Belize Electricity Limited for electricity supplied by these facilities. BECOL is therefore not to be interfered with by anyone including the regulator and the courts.
 
2. By Clauses 2.1 and 2.2, the Government effectively ties the hands of the PUC when it comes to BECOL committing the government and people of Belize to indemnifying BECOL against any losses sustained as a result of any determination which the PUC, as a regulatory body, or any court may make against its interests.
 
3. By Clause 2.2 and 4, the Government agreed that even if a court finds that the instruments held by BECOL are unlawful, then the Government will make them good. This is an unconditional guarantee given to BECOL that if it is operating unlawfully, the Government will do all that is necessary to make the agreements lawful without any financial loss to BECOL.
 
4. By Clause 2.2, the Government has locked in the rates in the existing power Purchase Agreements between Belize Electricity and BECOL regardless of what the PUC, any tribunal or Court might determine. Even if the PUC or a tribunal or court might determine that rates should be adjusted the Government must take all necessary steps to ensure that BECOL suffers no loss by any such determination and/or make good any such loss.
 
5. By clause 4 the Government commits to do everything which BECOL and/or Fortis may require in order to give full effect to the deed.
 
6. By Clause 14 the Government commits the people of Belize to international arbitration in the event that Fortis chooses to resolve any dispute arising out of the agreement to such arbitration.
 
And when regard is had to the Deed of Settlement and Compromise, a breach of any of the terms of the Deed of Confirmation and Assurance is a trigger entitling Fortis to exercise the PUT OPTION requiring the government to buy the remaining Fortis shares in Belize Electricity Limited at full book value. This is the real cost to the Belizean people of the wrong-headed nationalization which could obviously have been avoided by negotiating with Fortis to buy its shares from the outset.
 
The obvious question for consideration is how can the nationalisation of Belize Electricity Limited secure lower retail electricity rates to consumers when a condition for the acquisition is to lock in wholesale electricity rates charged by BECOL and to be paid by Belize Electricity Limited for the next twenty or so years?
 
The contradiction and hypocrisy is glaring!