February 4, 2014
VINLEC will pay for that fuel – Vinlec CEO

The cost of absorbing the increased fuel surcharge is expected to set back the St Vincent and the Grenadines Electricity Services (VINLEC), between eight to ten million dollars.{{more}}

Thornley Myers, CEO of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Electricity Services (VINLEC), in making the disclosure at a press conference last week, said that based on the generation of electricity from their hydro plants in the past year, VINLEC arrived at the estimated cost to the company of cushioning the increased fuel surcharge rate.

“On a monthly basis VINLEC is able to assess, based on the production of its hydro plants… how much fuel is saved. So if I take for example, from a historical point of view, last year our hydro plants in January… saved us $1.3 million in fuel. February… $723,000, March $624,000, April, one million….

“So the company is going to say based on the average price of fuel last year… as a result of not having the hydro plant how much more the fuel surcharge is increasing.

“In other words… VINLEC is going to ensure that due to the lack of the hydro plants, customers do not feel the impact of increasing fuel surcharge

“So no one will say that the fuel surcharge has increased as a result of not having our hydro facilities available…. VINLEC will pay for that fuel.”

The CEO warned that although the impact of the increased fees will be cushioned, customers must not expect that the fuel surcharge rates will be fixed.

“Clearly the fuel surcharge will change because the price of fuel changes from month to month. The quantity of fuel we use from month to month changes because we don’t generate the same amount of electricity every month. So one has to be careful.”

Just over a week ago Myers had announced that the fuel surcharge rates had increased after the hydro plants were put out of commission by the December rains and floods.

He said that this caused more diesel to be used, hence the reason for the increase.

He denied that the fuel surcharge hike was to meet payments for the repairs to the hydro plants.

Myers said that the decision to absorb the increase was the company’s contribution to its customers

“It is part of the contribution that as a corporate entity that we have to try to alleviate the pain and the suffering that our customers are undergoing for various reasons, not only as a result of increasing fuel cost and other issues associated to energy….”