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Symmonds rejects licence application claims

Article taken from the Sunday Sun – August 7, 2022

Minister of Energy, Business Development and International Business Kerry Symmonds has refuted claims that Government is introducing legislation to deprive Barbadians of the right to object to licence applications by Barbados Light and Power Company.

In piloting the Electric Light And Power (Amendment) Bill 2022 in the House of Assembly on Friday, the Minister said contrary to certain statements on the issue, Government was attempting “to ensure that a piece of legislation that was deficient and without the regulatory framework to facilitate the objection, could now be corrected to empower those people who want to object”.

The amended piece of legislation replaces the 2013 Act which Symmonds said was “woefully inadequate for the purposes of treating to an application”.

He pointed out that while the previous legislation invited people to apply to the Minister if they had reservations about a licence being granted to the BL& P, there was “no framework within which that application could be made, heard or managed”.

The insertion into the amended Act under the heading Representations Or Objections Regarding Application For Licence says: “An interested party who desires to make a representation or an objection in relation to an application for a licence by an applicant to whom section 5(3) applies shall, within 28 days of the first publication of notice of the application, inform the Minister in writing of his representation or objection. The interested party shall state his interest in the application; shall, as far as practicable, state concisely, in numbered paragraphs, the precise nature and ground of his representation or objection; shall include any supporting evidence; and shall not make a representation or an objection in respect of anything that is not directly related to a matter set out in section.”

Symmonds explained the legislation required that a public utility proposing to operate a generation system of a certain capacity, or seeking a storage or transmission and distribution licence must publish a notice of application in two daily newspapers. The Act also allows for interested parties to make representations of their views about the grant or issuance of a licence. ( GC)

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