With a team already on the island assessing the recent failure of its generator and a generator trailer unit on site ready to supplement supplies and submarine lines from mainland Eleuthera, Minister of State for Public Utilities the Hon. Phenton Neymour said electricity needs for Harbour Island are being addressed.

“We also recognise that, in the meantime, in addition to all of these works, we can no longer address your problem in a ‘Band-Aid’ fashion, as in the past,” Minister Neymour said at a community meeting on Harbour Island. “For that reason, we signed a contract for a $25-million facility to be put in place for North Eleuthera and Harbour Island.

“Those works, I’ve been told, should be completed by mid-summer of next year.”

Traveling with the Minister to Harbour Island were Bahamas Electricity Corporation Deputy General Manager Anthony Forbes and Assistant General Manager for the Southern Bahamas Mark Hudson. Member of Parliament for North Eleuthera the Hon. Alvin Smith was also on the island with the Minister.

Minister Neymour acknowledged that Harbour Island residents are still faced with challenges and reliability problems, in the interim, and the Government recognises that issue.

He said the Government has two generators in the area, one already installed in North Eleuthera and the other recently landed on Harbour Island, which will give added capacity to Harbour Island.

“We will also have in place an additional generator, which has not been functioning properly, put in place in operation, I have been told by tomorrow (May 27),” he said.

Minister Neymour said the Government also knows that there will be “acts of God” and mishaps, such as vehicles knocking down poles or mechanical breakdowns that will disrupt service in the future.

“We recognise that we have to put in place added capacity to meet those concerns,” he added.

“We have to address this problem that we have been faced with for many years in Harbour Island by having both a short term and a long term plan, which we are putting in place, which we are meeting,” he said, noting meantime other international factors such as the high demand for diesel and diesel generators around the world.

“The delivery times on these (generators) have been significant,” he said. “It could take up to a year to get generators.”

The Government, he said, has “short tracked” the generator-replacement programme as best as it can.

“We anticipate that, in the near future, those interruptions that you have been having would be minimized; but we do not anticipate being fully out of the woods until we have completed the new power plant for North Eleuthera and Harbour Island,” Minister Neymour said.