BVIEC workers installing the new LED Lights
Photo Credit: Gordon French/BVI Platinum News
Minister of Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool has set January 1 as the date he expects to see a merger between the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) and the Water and Sewerage Department (W&SD), but the two department heads want analysis on the proposed move.
Mr. Leroy Abram, General Manager of the BVIEC stated that at this point in time it would be premature to discuss the merger in the absence of the analysis that is currently being done on both organizations.
He stated that ultimately at the end of the day the analysis will determine the feasibility of merging both entities together.
"Essentially, you have to look at the assets and the liabilities of both entities in a merged environment how this whole merged environment will operate because right now our core competency is production and delivery of electricity. Their [W&SD] core competency is the delivery of water," Mr. Abraham stated.
He added, "There are synergies in terms of delivery because delivery of electricity and delivery of water to the customer is the same and there are some synergies which can essentially benefit the public in relation to cost reductions. But at the end of the day we have to look at a full and comprehensive analysis and review of both entities to see how this merged entity is going to function and ensuring that it is viable at the end of the day."
Mr. Vanterpool explained that the merger is one of the major initiatives being considered for the Water and Sewerage Department.
"Both the Water and Sewerage Department, and the BVI Electricity Corporation are very vital utilities with certain infrastructural and operational similarities including a similar customer base. A merger, would result in a reduction of costs, wastage, and redundancy and foster improved efficiency in the areas of administration, accounting, management information systems, customer service, and meter reading," Mr. Vanterpool stated.
The Minister pointed out that he does not anticipate staff cuts when the merger happens.
Acting Director of W&SD, Ms. Perline Scatliffe-Leonard stated that at the end of the day she believes that the department needs to be a statutory group.
"The ministry has taken the position of merging it with the electricity. At the end of the day we need to be a statutory entity. We are working with the Ministry to see how feasible it is to get that electricity merger done. I am supportive of it," Scatliffe-Leonard stated.
She said there has not been any feedback from workers at the department since they want to ensure that all the players are on the same page before they discuss it officially.