#Providenciales, October 28, 2019 – Turks and Caicos Islands – FortisTCI President and CEO Eddinton Powell was recently named the 2019 recipient of the 3rd Annual Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) Energy Leadership MVP Award. The honor is given to a nominee who has made a significant contribution to energy development in the region. CREF Program Director Julie Taylor, on behalf of the CREF Advisory Committee, announced the award on Thursday, October 17, at the 11th annual CREF Conference in Miami, Florida, USA.
With almost 40 years of industry experience and 12 years as President and CEO of FortisTCI, Mr. Powell is credited with leading the transformation of the electricity sector in the Turk and Caicos Islands (TCI). His accomplishments include investing in the professional development of employees to create a well-trained and diverse workforce, leading to the company achieving ‘Investors in People’ accreditation in 2016. In 2018, FortisTCI was again accredited with Investors in People (Silver) certification.
Under his leadership, FortisTCI earned its first investor grade credit rating with Standard & Poor’s, providing the company the opportunity to access affordable financing in the United States capital debt market. Other FortisTCI achievements under Mr. Powell’s leadership include, earning ISO 22301:2012 certification for business continuity management from three leading global standards organizations, and ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 certification for Occupational Health and Safety, and Environmental Management Systems. Mr. Powell also created an environment where modernizing utility infrastructure for resiliency and reliability was a priority. This approach led to a utility with one of the highest reliability stats in the region, adding to the continued economic development of the TCI.
In 2018, the company won the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) restoration award for its recordbreaking restoration of service in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. FortisTCI restored service to the entire country in 60 days, which had a positive impact on the country’s economy.
Mr. Powell has led FortisTCI to integrate and enable the renewable energy transition through the establishment of distributed generation solar programs for customers, which received the 2018 CREF award for Best Distributed Generation Project. He and his team have also worked alongside the Turks and Caicos Island Government and the Rocky Mountain Institute to finalize a national energy plan called the Resilient National Energy Transition Strategy, which will serve as the country’s blueprint over the next 22 years.
In May of this year, Mr. Powell was elected as Chairman of the CARILEC Board, having already served as CARILEC Vice Chairman, Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee between the 2016 – 2019 terms. In his current role as Chairman of the Board, Mr. Powell has advocated regionally for the transition to cleaner energy sources and encouraged a focus on sustainability and resiliency. Prior to 2007, Mr. Powell served 25 years with Caribbean Utilities Company Ltd (CUC) in the Cayman Islands, four years of which he was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Speaking of the award, Mr. Powell said, “This came as a complete surprise. I am humbled to accept this award, but I do so in honor of the fantastic women and men at FortisTCI and the great support from our Parent Company, Fortis Inc. This Award means a great deal to me and the company, and the people that I represent and work with. CREF is doing a great job in promoting renewable energy in the Caribbean. The annual CREF Conference has help to facilitate the rapid scale-up of renewable energy in the region.”
CREF is the largest annual industry conference for the Caribbean region focused on advancing the clean energy market for a clean energy future. As CREF Organizers, New Energy Events established the awards program to recognize Caribbean leaders making a difference through resiliency and renewable energy and creating project development for countries to transition to more sustainable clean sources of energy.
Release: Fortis TCI
COVID Works programme launched by Ministry of Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development
#TurksandCaicos, September 21, 2021 – The Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development, the Honourable Akierra Mary Deanne Missick and the Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development team are pleased to announce the launch of the COVID WORKS Programme, that went live on September 1, 2021.
The Programme seeks to support many who have lost jobs and livelihoods, while providing labour intensive work for economic exchange opportunities for persons to be engaged.
Works are set out in three (3) levels and comprise a variety of categories example, cleaning, road works, demolition and general construction to name a few.
Level 1 – value $1,500 – $9,999
Level 2 – value $10,000 – $39,999
Level 3 – value $40,000 – $70,000
Commenting on the launch of the programme, Hon. Missick said, “We are very much mindful of the impact that restrictions introduced by Government in an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, has had on the islands, many continue to experience financial hardship. Whilst, the hospitality and construction sectors in Providenciales have rebounded well, as an Administration, we cannot rest knowing that other industries are still limping along.
As a result, during the remainder of this financial year, the Turks & Caicos Islands Government has now launched the COVID Works Programme to provide an opportunity for Petty and Small Contractors to assist the Government in the enhancement of our communities, through programmed works, to the benefit of all of us as residents”.
The Minister went on to note, “This Programme is set to the tune of US$5,000,000.00, and works will be rolled out across the Islands in batches, as we have to ensure that we do not go beyond the allotted expenditure and that financial oversight and transparency are maintained.”
The initial batch of works for South Caicos, which comprised the following, was returned and evaluated on Monday, September 13, 2021 and included:
Demolition- Queen’s Shed
Demolition- Distribution Concrete Tank
Demolition- Old Clinic Building
Demolition- DECR Building
Demolition- Library Building
Repair of Water Cistern
Works for Grand Turk included:
Demolition- Blood Bank Building
Demolition- Geriatric Ward Building
Demolition- Kitchen Building
Demolition- X-ray Building
All returning bids must be sent to the COVID Works email at email@example.com
Kindly note that as of Monday, September 20, 2021, the following works are planned to be released:
Beach Cleaning (Eastern portion of Grand Turk)
Street Cleaning (All areas)
Beach cleaning (Areas of Shore Club and Five Cays)
Street Cleaning (All areas)
A number of other works for Middle & North Caicos, as well as Salt Cay will be released shortly. This is a six month program that will spread throughout the TCI and we encourage persons to continue to register via firstname.lastname@example.org or the local Public Works Department and District Commissioners’ offices, to be eligible for this opportunity.
These works will continue on a monthly basis and the programme will come to an end in March 2022.
Grandstanding at best – Hon. Jameka Williams
#TurksandCaicos, September 21, 2021 – Response to Mr. Robert Been Jr. – People’s Democratic Movement All Island Candidate 2016 and 2021 “Where is the Wo’k you promised PNP?”
Like some of you, I have the opportunity to read the statements that has been published by Mr. Robert Been asking the government where is the work. I can only describe this as a classic case of grandstanding. The issues highlighted by Mr. Been are areas of concern in our country, however these issues did not begin yesterday nor did they became a concern seven months ago. I’d like to remind Mr. Been that these same concerns were there during his former governing party the PDM. The previous government did nothing to address these concerns in their four year tenure. Where was your voice then Mr. Been? As a matter of fact, where was your voice the four years prior?
As it relates to education, the issues with spaces in Schools has been heightened as a lot of families can not afford the cost of private institutions since the pandemic, so there is now a high demand for seats in the public schools. Our government is working closely with the private Institutions with a subsidy program to address those needs. Again, this issue existed under the former government before the pandemic but they made no attempt to address it. In addition under your former administration, schools were closed for over one year with no plan on sight for its reopening. Our children have regressed and many repeating to catch up on the year lost.
On September 1, 2021 our government announced the new protocols and measures as it relates to Covid 19. Yes, there are concerns being expressed by the citizens and business owners as it relates to the impact of those decisions. I would like to inform you to that these decisions were not made alone. Stakeholders were engaged in these conversations and I have also accompanied the Hon. Jamel Robinson to sit downs with various groups of business owners to provide feedback, listen and take recommendations.
Countries around the world are imposing stiffer penalties and measures to help with the control of Covid 19 virus and the TCI is no different. We’ve seen reports published of cancellations that we believe are flawed to bully the government into reversing the decisions made. Our government has a responsibility to protect life and livelihood. There are decisions that are sometimes tough to make but it is our responsibility to make them no matter how unpopular. In time, the people of this country will see the benefit of those decisions concerning what’s happening around the world in even more developed countries as it relates to COVID-19.
Mr. Been, I would like for you to know that the island of Grand Turk was in a state of devastation since the storm of 2017 under the tenure of your government. There was an outcry for years by its residents. The cruise industry is at a standstill. However, I’d like to inform you that during our budget debates this current government has passes 8.3 million dollars for all the islands with 3 million ring fenced for Grand Turk alone in works and cash grant injections. The Ministry of Planning and Infrastructure Development has as of September 1, 2021 rolled out its contract program for works around the islands particularly in the Nation’s Capital.
Since the closer of the cruise sector in Grand Turk, the former administration had little to no engagement with Carnival partners on a plan to jump start that industry. It is extremely commendable that our government took the initiative to host a town hall meeting with all persons involved in the cruise industry in June 2021. Additional the Premier is in constant dialogue with Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean has now expressed an internet in having Grand Turk as one of their destinations.
Mr. Been, it is widely rumored that you may have an interest in Leadership of the PDM during the next convention. You are a personal friend of mine and I wish you well on your endeavors as this is a noble profession. However, my advice to you would be to offer solution based arguments so that the electorate sees your strength and potential instead of pointing fingers and grandstanding. Admittedly you mentioned that the elections are over. But are they really for you? As a government we do not have all the answers but I assure you that the decisions made are in the best interest of all of us including you. Hold on, better days are ahead.
Canadians Fly South to Turks & Caicos!
#TurksandCaicos, September 21, 2021 – Air Canada is back to the Turks and Caicos Islands with direct flights from Toronto to the Providenciales International Airport (PLS) and when the airline returned on Sunday September 12, it came nearly full with 169 passengers aboard.
Floyd Ingham, Acting CEO of the TCI Airports Authority, confirmed that Air Canada brought a Boeing 737-Max for the flight which will be weekly. The aircraft has a capacity of 180 and actually left the PLS with 65 passengers.
Air Canada had been missing from the commercial airline offering for nearly a year due to the impact of coronavirus on its home base. West Jet, also a Canadian airline, has not yet return to the PLS, but is proposing a November 7th resumption of flights, also from Toronto.
Canadian air carriers had discontinued flights to most sunny weather destinations back in January when cases there spiked to deadly levels.
On September 9, airlines were clear to fly.
Canada requires returning residents to present a 3-day old negative PCR test for re-entry, requires visitors to be fully vaccinated and currently has nearly 69 per cent vaccination rate across its provinces.
As a side bar, South West Airlines, which travels to TCI out of Ft Lauderdale is still on schedule for a return on October 7th confirmed Mr. Ingham who also confirmed that frequency of Air Canada service will ramp up on October 1st, with three flights per week planned.
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