By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, April 3, 2023 – The cost of electricity and the fuel factor calculation on customers’ bills were some of the topics recently discussed in a recent high-level meeting between FortisTCI and the new Commissioner of Energy and Utilities, Delano Arthur. Also discussed was the company’s generation fleet, and capital investment, all topics of great concern to TCI residents.
The announcement came from the electricity company’s representative Nikiria John in a March 30th press release. It indicated that Arthur hit the ground running last week, meeting with the electricity provider to ‘discuss the energy industry and regulatory reform of the sector.’
He met with Ruth Forbes, President and CEO, and several other high-ranking executives of the team. Forbes who is a Turks and Caicos native expressed pleasure at the meeting
“This meeting was an opportunity for us, as the energy provider to the TCI, and the regulator, to build upon prior discussions on charting the way forward for the electricity sector. We welcomed the open and transparent dialogue and the Commissioner’s interest in advancing good-faith negotiations on regulatory reform. We see this as a critical step to support the rapidly evolving energy sector,” she maintained.
Arthur, alongside Dr. Eric Salamanca, energy Analyst, toured the Providenciales Power Plant for a first-hand view of the company’s operations, fuel storage facilities, the mechanical workshop, and the operators’ control center, according to the press release.
With a vote of confidence from the Deputy Governor, Arthur’s appointment was announced in January, at which point the second-generation Turks and Caicos Islander had expressed that he was “grateful to be part of the team that will pioneer the way in strengthening the Regulatory Regime for Energy and Utilities.”
Airport Investor Deadline Extended, says TCIAA
#TurksandCaicos, September 24, 2023 – Bidders are showing interest in the Providenciales Airport Redevelopment Project as the deadline for pre-qualification has been extended at the request of potential investors, according to the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA).
In a September 19th update, the TCIAA revealed that to allow adequate time for the submission of applications, the closing date has been extended from Wednesday, 27th of September 2023 to Wednesday, the 18th of October 2023.
The Government is hoping to find an investor willing to front the $360 million cost to redevelop the airport within five years and subsequently manage it and its revenue.
The investment to expand the terminal has also been estimated at $400 million.
No comment has yet been shared by TCIG on the level of interest in the project since it opened in August, but the Government had begun to receive unsolicited drafts from multiple investors before they had even decided on the structure of the redevelopment which is to be a Public Private Partnership.
The redevelopment is a necessary step in the Turks and Caicos’ tourism evolution according to consultants as the country prepares for a sustained increase in travelers.
The Government has set an ambitious timeline for the project with contracts to be signed by early 2024.
Provo Town Hall Meetings canceled
#TurksandCaicos, September 24, 2023 – The six National Town Hall meetings set for Providenciales this month have been postponed until further notice.
Announced on August 30th, the meetings came as the Government was put on blast for not communicating effectively enough with residents.
The postponed meetings were supposed to be as follows:
Five Cays — 20th September;
Wheeland — 21st September;
Cheshire Hall —22nd September;
The Bight — 25th September;
Blue Hills — 26th September And ;
Leeward And Long Bay —27th September
Providenciales residents, especially in Five Cays, have been clamoring for a meeting with the elected representatives to talk about several matters, first and foremost the criminal activity that disproportionately affects the densely populated island.
There was no indication whether other government agencies including the police, would be on hand to answer questions during the meetings.
The meetings for the rest of the country listed for October will run as normal.
TCI attends the 25th Annual Caribbean Postal Union Conference & 19th Caribbean Council of Ministers of Postal Affairs Meeting held in Kingston, Jamaica
#TurksandCaicos, September 24, 2023 – The Minister of Home Affairs, Public Safety and Utilities, the Honourable Otis C. Morris led a four-member delegation to Kingston, Jamaica for the 25th Annual Caribbean Postal Union’s (CPU) Conference and 19th Caribbean Council of Ministers of Postal Affairs Meeting, which was held from 10th – 15th September 2023, under the theme: “The CPU at 25: Evolving for Economic Sustainability”.
The opening ceremony which was held on Monday, 11th September 2023 was attended by ministers with responsibility for post, permanent secretaries, postmasters general from around the Caribbean, as well as representatives of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and other regional and international postal officials.
The keynote speaker for the event was Senator the Honourable Dr. Dana Morris Dixon, Minister without Portfolio, Office of the Prime Minister responsible for with responsibility for Skills and Digital Transformation. She noted the post office remains relevant and plays a crucial economic role in many Caribbean societies. The gathering of so many practitioners in the industry was a testament to their commitment to making postal services throughout the Caribbean more efficient and competitive.
Other areas of focus during the conference included:
- The importance of public partnerships in creating an e-commerce infrastructure, to stimulate economic sustainability.
- Best practices and initiatives throughout the Caribbean
- Technology and CARICOM-CPU cooperation on how to access modern postal technology.
- Growth of the country’s economy while helping citizens and protecting the environment
- Achievement of United Nation’s sustainability development goals
Commenting on the conference, the Hon. Otis Morris stated that it was a very good opportunity to meet as Caribbean ministers and postmasters general to discuss challenges and as well as opportunities for collaboration in the area of postal services.
He recognised that there remains a need for the improvement of services within the post office as well as the exploration of new goods and services.
He concluded by thanking the Postmaster General and her team for their continued work in the area of post in the TCI and pledged his continued support to the Postmaster and her team.
Postmaster General of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mrs. Elizabeth James, noted: “I am happy that I was able to network with my colleagues from across the Caribbean to confront common issues and charter initiatives to deal with these issues which are faced by postal services regionally and internationally”.
The Postmaster thanked the CPU for hosting the conference and the Ministry of Public Safety and Utilities for making her attendance possible.
The delegation returned to the Turks and Caicos Islands on 16th September 2023.
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