THE THIRD MASTER AGREEMENT SAYS THAT BELIZEANS TAKE ALL THE RISKS & WILL STILL PAY MORE AND MORE:
- NO LIABILITY. If something happens to the dam or river and people or property suffer damages, the GOB says we can't sue Fortis-BECOL for their mess up. "In no event shall the Producer [BECOL] be liable, whether in contract tort, negligence, strict liability or otherwise for any indirect, incidental or consequential damages of any nature arising at any time or from any cause whatsoever." (Power Purchase Agreement, Sec.17.2, p.17)
- THEY CAN WALK AWAY, GO BACK TO CANADA. If the Project is destroyed or damaged by a natural catastrophe, even if that catastrophe could have been prevented by better planning, Fortis can walk away from the Project after getting the insurance proceeds. (Power Purchase Agreement, Sec.11.2 , p.13)
- GUARANTEES YEARLY RATE INCREASE OF 1 1/2%. The price per kilowatt (Kwh) will increase by 1-1/2 % on 1 April each year beginning 1 April 2001 through to 31 March 2036. (Amended and Restated Power Purchase Agreement Sec.3.1(c), p.6)
- WE PAY ANYWAY. If the dam does not perform as expected (because there is not enough water or for any other reason) and the estimates of power production are less or more than projected, Fortis-BEL and Fortis-BECOL can re-negotiate the contracts to charge consumers more. (Power Purchase Agreement Sec.3.2, p.8)
- FORGET THE LAWS. The GOB promises to take care of any laws that might affect the project - "no governmental, private or other entity, other than the Government, has any rights, powers, or privileges that if exercised could adversely affect the granting of the Franchise, the terms and conditions set forth in the Power Purchase Agreement, including the rights and privileges the Government has agreed to provide to the Producer." But if there are any problems, the GOB promises to "take or cause to be taken such legislative and administrative action necessary to convey to the Producer all rights and interests." (Franchise Agreement, Sec.3.2, 3.3, pp 24-5)
- FORGET THE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS TOO. The Government is saying this private company is free from citizen enforcement of laws -- except those laws with which the company has agreed to follow. "The Government covenants and agrees to waive, or cause to be waived, and indemnify the Producer against any private action under or with respect to, any and all environmental laws, rules or regulations now existing, or created hereafter, to which the Mollejon Project and the New Project may be subject. ." (Franchise Agreement Sec.7, p.27)
- BELIZEANS WILL PAY AND PAY. Belizean consumers are forced to pay twice for transmission lines built to the existing dam. Belizean consumers were already paying for these transmission lines as part of their current rates. The new contract makes BEL purchase this asset again, at a cost of $15 million, which will be passed on to consumers again. GOB promises to build roads to the new project site at government expense. (Franchise Agreement Sec.5.3, p.26)
- THE MACAL RIVER IS THEIRS ??. The GOB promises to take care of all necessary matters to give control of the river and all tributaries to BECOL-Fortis. (Franchise Agreement Sec.3.3, p.25)
We still have no emergency preparedness plans, we still have not seen information about the safety of the water or of the fish; we still donít know the REAL cost of the dam or what other secret deals they have made !!
WE DO KNOW THAT FORTIS-BECOL AND FORTIS-BEL ARE MAKING LOTS OF MONEY
WE DO KNOW OUR ELECTRIC RATES KEEP GOING UP, UP, UP!
This message brought to you by Belize Alliance of Conservation NGOs (BACONGO)
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