Believe You Me – It is Still About the Economy Stupid

In recent weeks the country has been consumed with the news about an IDB/Barbados government survey administered by some schools to 11 year olds without the consent of parents. Yesterday Member of Parliament for St. Michael North West Neil Rowe was charged with rape and is scheduled to appear in Court this morning to formally answer to the charge. Not to forget his month the number of murders surpassed prior year.

These issues should not make us lose focus of the perilous state of the economy. Despite the narratives being pushed by talking heads about improved credit ratings, reduced debt and the security blanket BERT II affords, there is reality that has not changed. The Barbados economy is almost entirely dependent on tourism and to a lesser degree international business. How many Barbadians are aware there is a negative outlook for the global economy by the IMF for 2023 with growth predicted to slow to 2.7%? To quote the IMF – “2023 will feel like a recession for millions around the world”.  

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Dots, Dots, Dots and More Dots

Sitting in a vehicle trapped in traffic on the highways and byways of Barbados any hour of the day has become a permanent inconvenience. The inability of authorities past and present, public and private, to effectively implement and enforce measures to address this and other woes. The problem of chronic gridlock on our roads is symptomatic of a crisis of governance.

Does the National Productivity Council still exist? How many hours are flushed daily because of idle time spent sitting in traffic by citizens who are gainfully employed?

Is the oil import bill still north of 700 million dollars? How many millions of dollars can be saved were an efficient transportation system to be implemented?

How many of the fossil powered vehicles are registered and what percentage represent electric or hybrid vehicles? How does this translate to Barbados becoming a 100 percent green and carbon neutral island by 2030?

There is the challenge to repair one of the most dense network of roads in the world made more challenging by more than 100,000 registered vehicles. This is not sustainable given limited foreign exchange resources.

The Barbados Court System was described as in danger of collapsing under its weight by Attorney General Dale Marshall. Is it fair to suggest to whom it should concern that the chaos on the roads is accentuating the problem?

The pandemic has forced providers to change how products and services are being delivered to the public. Eighteen months later the Barbados Licensing Authority and Barbados Revenue Authority are good examples of two government agencies responsible for administering road traffic being overwhelmed by the volume.

Insurance companies have reported to be paying out over 25 million dollars annually in claims. The number does not include unreported damage below the deductible or from non insured vehicle owners. Car parts are imported.

The decision by successive governments to pass on increases of the price of petrol to consumers has been a contentious issue given the inflationary impact on the economy. Recently an attempt – originating in the social media space – to buy petrol one litre at a time failed but it highlighted the thirst for fossil fuel is real.

If the analogy is borrowed to define how affairs of state is managed to compare with a system which is defined as – an interrelated set of components working together for a purpose – then the consequences of connecting the dots as it pertains to our dysfunctional transportation system is clear. It is a useful exercise to connect the dots for yourself.

What did you conclude?

Lights Out!

Following the ongoing national debate about the response by EMERA to post-Elsa damage to its network gets the blogmaster’s dander up. In 2012 the BU family predicted the decision by the NIS Board chaired by Tony Marshall to dump our shares in Barbados Light and Power (BL&P) to Canada-based EMERA would comeback to haunt us. ALL sensible Barbadians agreed at the time that BL&P was a strategic asset and any smart government should have seen the merit to ring-fencing the ownership – see BU Archive. The government received pieces of silver to bolster the foreign reserves and as we did in 2003 with the sale of the Barbados National Bank to Republic Bank the decisions of key companies operating in Barbados are being made offshore.

Better late than never is the saying. Barbadians are correct to question EMERA’s disaster recovery plan (DR) in light of what transpired with the passing of Hurricane Elsa as a CAT 1. What if…?

  • Is the Disaster Plan designed to optimally respond to unplanned incidents like natural disasters and other disruptive events?
  • Is it a regulatory requirement for EMERA’s Disaster Recovery Plan to be submitted to the Fair Trading Commissions (FTC) or relevant government agency to ensure there is alignment with a national standard?

The BL&P enjoyed an excellent reputation with Barbadians in the period before the sale to EMERA for power uptime, customer service and pole maintenance to list just three. Information is abroad that many jobs were retrenched and others outsourced to sub contractors when EMERA bought our strategic asset. Did Hurricane Elsa as a CAT 1 hurricane expose EMERA’s Disaster for Barbados?

Chris Halsall

The blogmaster is aware Transmission and Distribution (TD) of electricity is a highly technical area and reached out to Chris Halsall who has acted in the role of intervenor in FTC Rate Hearings to assist with the post Hurricane Elsa review.

A natural monopoly is a type of monopoly that exists typically due to the high start-up costs or powerful economies of scale of conducting a business in a specific industry which can result in significant barriers to entry for potential competitors. A company with a natural monopoly might be the only provider of a product or service in an industry or geographic location. Natural monopolies can arise in industries that require unique raw materials, technology, or similar factors to operate.

Investopedia

To understand why the electric company is a strategic asset and should not have been sold to EMERA is to accept that it is a natural monopoly. And efficient electric company is a requirement for a productive Barbados. Are we confident the FTC and Ministry of Commerce will protect the rights of Barbadians proclaimed under the Consumer Protection Act? Is it a case that at the end of the day EMERA will simply continue to invest in new deployment and expend on maintenance as they see fit by passing the costs to the consumer along with their allowed 10.4% ROR on the “Rate Base”?

This critique is not directed at the linemen seen scaling poles at ungodly hours during the last week to return households to full service. We have a tendency in the hysteria of the moment to conflate issues.

We turn our attention to EMERA’s pole plant:

1.  Poles
1.1.  There are many instances where poles are not vertical.  This is a good indicator the pole requires maintenance.
1.1.1.  It doesn’t take much effort to find poles mounted side-by-side, one or both leaning, tied together.

1.2.  Related to this are cases of vines growing on the poles and/or trees growing near them.
1.3.  Pole maintenance cost money.  This will, of course, have to be passed onto the Consumer.
1.4.  This is the “Layer 0” in the OSI model for wired connections – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSI_model.

2.  Cables
2.1.  As was documented at some length during the Rate Hearings way-back-when, “Pole attachments” are a big deal. They are why the poles exist at all.
2.2. The topmost attachment areas are for cables that deliver electrical power by way of Transmission (one or three phases of *very* high voltage).
2.3.  Next down is for Distribution (one to three phases of ~110V; two plus neutral is the most common).

2.3.  Then at the very bottom areas are for the various telephony providers to attach copper pairs (legacy), Coax cable (legacy), and/or Fiber (GPON, etc).

2.4.  The cables also require maintenance.  IMO, the telephony providers have not been maintaining their cables as well as they might.
2.5.  Cables are the “Layer 1” in the OSI model, and are the only options for power.

3.  Situational awareness
3.1.  Although BL&P has invested in “Smart Meters”, it would be interesting to know if this fed into their SCADA systems.

3.2.  It might be worth looking at having “Crowd-Sourced” knowledge of poles and/or cables which should be reviewed.
3.3.  The BL&P App needs which facilitates reports of faulty poles, light etc needs to be aggressively promoted and details of the reports and follow up shared with the public. To many anecdotal stories of reports of leaning poles with no apparent response from the power company.

4.  Alternatives
4.1.  Underground cables are less susceptible to winds, but are to flooding and are much more expensive to deploy.
4.2.  “Smart Grid” technology could make the grid more resilient.  But that’s a very long-term discussion.

Although this blog focuses on the quality of response post Elsa by EMERA, it is worth mentioning the number of poorly constructed homes damaged or destroyed and the inability of successive governments to legislate and enforce a building code.

Fuel Price Analysis

Compiled by caribbeansignal.com

From mid-night February 17 consumers in Barbados paid less for gasoline and diesel. The retail price of gasoline fell from $3.60 BDS per litre to $3.56, 4 cents / 1.1% less. The retail price of diesel fell from $3.00 BDS per litre to $2.89, 11 cents / 3.7% less (Source: Barbados Government Information Service).

See full analysis HERE.

BL&P’s Promise to Barbadians — You Must Invest in Community Solar

He added that Light & Power is also planning “community solar to ensure that every Barbadian has the opportunity to participate in the island’s green transformation and the renewable energy future for Barbados.” – Roger Blackman, Managing Director (BLP)

The Barbados Light & Power in its recent edition of Watts New Business Managing Director Roger Blackman reassured the audience that his company is committed to a 100/ 100 vision of 100% renewable energy. This is good news for some of us who appreciate that a sustainable power supply that is affordable and a strategic fit for a Small Island Developing State is the commonsense approach.

The reference by Blackman to “community solar” should pique the interest of all Barbadians who have had to labour in an investment market of reduced interest rates and extension of bond maturities. There is no reason why the public and private sector should not structure investment opportunities for ordinary citizens to invest in growth areas. Barbadians have always been a thrifty people and this behaviour is reflected in the billions of dollars which continue to nestle with financial institutions. The fear for many is that if citizens see no appealing avenues to invest they will stop saving and engage in greater consumption behavior which the country cannot afford given the forex earning constraints.

It hasn’t gone unnoticed that Wigton Windfarm in Jamaica is about to list on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) with an IPO and Prime Minister Holness has been encouraging ordinary Jamaicans to grab the opportunity to invest.  It is a nobrainer for private and foreign investors – with good reputations – to see the benefit of an adequate rate return by investing in a growth area. It is a no brainer that government and private sectors have a vested interest is creating an optimal climate for investment by creating the best investment products. The blogmaster notes that the proposed GAIA PPP floated by the government accommodates worker participation.   The  business models practiced by Williams Group of companies and a few others in Barbados should be standard modus operandi as we work to make Barbados great again. Trade Unions calling striking action for a 1% or 2% wage increase has become redundant. All collective bargain agreements should demand worker participation.

The financial sector continues to demonstrate its unwavering commitment to maintaining shareholder value during times of austerity. The government must pave the way for a new business model to emerge that will sustain national development and enfranchise Barbadians. If we do not do it, who will?

We are Barbadians, we can do this!

Credit to sirFuzzy.

 

Fuelling Devaluation!

The following articles posted by fellow blogger over at caribbeansignal.com, separating signal from noise Barbados Underground

 


Barbados Fuel Price Change December 2018

From mid-night December 2 consumers paid less for gasoline and diesel. The retail price of gasoline fell from $3.91 BDS per litre to $3.71, 20 cents / 5.1% less. The retail price of diesel fell from $3.20 BDS per litre to $3.17, 3 cents / 0.9% less (Source: Barbados Government Information Service).

See link to full texthttps://www.caribbeansignal.com/2018/12/05/barbados-fuel-price-change-december-2018/

 


 

DeLisle Worrell: The Threat of Barbados Dollar Devaluation Remains – The Threat of Barbados Dollar Devaluation Remains

Prime Minister Mottley’s unprecedented achievement in securing financial support from the IMF, the Interamerican Development Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank, has averted an imminent threat of devaluation. However, even though the risk of immediate devaluation has lifted, it has not gone away. Loans from the international financial institutions have bought the Barbados Government some time; Government must use this breathing space to negotiate a mutually satisfactory agreement with holders of US dollar-denominated bonds. In the absence of debt restructuring which is agreeable to the holders of those bonds, the threat of devaluation reemerges in three years’ time.

See link to full texthttps://www.caribbeansignal.com/2018/12/05/delisle-worrell-the-threat-of-barbados-dollar-devaluation-remains/

Reparation Talk With Dr.Pedro Welch and David Comissiong

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Please see the attached video taped conversation on REPARATIONS between Dr. PEDRO  WELCH, the chairman of the Barbados National Task Force on Reparations, and DAVID  COMISSIONG in his role as host of the University of the West Indies REGION  TALK television programme.

"OPEN LETTER" to the Fair Trading Commission on the Proposed Sale/Merger of BNTCL

Submitted by David Comissiong, President,Clement Payne Chambers

ftc

CLEMENT   PAYNE   MOVEMENT

CLEMENT   PAYNE   CULTURAL   CENTRE

CRUMPTON  STREET

BRIDGETOWN

BARBADOS

25 January 2017

Ms Sandra Sealy

Chief Executive Officer

Fair Trading Commission

Green Hill

St. Michael

Dear Madam

Re: Proposed Sale of the Barbados National Terminal Company Limited and its proposed merger with the SOL Group of companies

I write this “Open Letter” to you as a Citizen and taxpayer of Barbados, and also in my capacity as President of the Clement Payne Movement of Barbados.

Over the past fortnight I have been approached by many individual citizens and residents of Barbados, and – in a more organized manner – by members of the Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM), expressing great concern about the proposed sale of the Barbados National Terminal Company Ltd (BNTCL), and its proposed merger with the Kyffin Simpson-owned SOL Group of companies. (I would also like to note for the  record that the BIM provided me with much valuable information about the proposed sale/merger.)

As you are aware, the statutory agency that you lead – the Fair Trading Commission – was established by the Government of Barbados in the year 2002, and was given a mandate to promote, maintain and encourage commercial competition in Barbados for the benefit of the Barbadian people. In addition, your agency was mandated to prohibit and prevent the restriction of competition and the abuse by large monopolistic enterprises of any dominant positions that they may acquire in any particular area of trade or commerce in our country.

It is also important to note that the other statutory agency with which we are concerned here – the Barbados National Terminal Company Ltd (BNTCL) – was established a mere four years earlier (in 1998) on the identical anti-monopoly principles of free and fair competition.

Indeed, the BNTCL was incorporated by the Government of the day following the closure of the Mobil Oil Refinery, and was designed to be a governmental corporation that would manage the storage and distribution of all gasoline, diesel, heavy fuel oil, kerosene, and aviation (jet) fuel imported into Barbados. And, as a governmental entity, BNTCL was required to relate to and service ALL of the private fuel and gasoline retail companies operating in Barbados on a basis of absolute fairness and equality.

Furthermore, the existence of the Government-owned BNTCL definitely benefitted the people of Barbados, in that the rate of return that BNTCL set for itself was a mere one-half of one percent, as against the previous rate of 12 per cent that Mobil charged when it ran the fuel storage facility! Thus, the state-owned BNTCL was not motivated by mere profit-making considerations, and instead set out to ensure that Barbadian consumers got the best prices possible for fuel products.

And so, over the past 18 years Barbados has consciously pursued a distinct state moderated anti-monopoly policy in the fuel distribution and retail sector of our economy, and this policy has worked well for our nation and people.

Now, however, there are signs that the “monster” of  private sector, profit driven, monopoly is rearing its ugly head in this sector of our economy.

At present, the fuel retail market in our country is controlled by a mere two companies – Rubis Caribbean which controls 30 per cent of the market, and the SOL Group which controls a massive 70 per cent of the market.

Now, this level of monopoly or oligopoly is extremely disturbing as it is: but, to make matters worse, we have recently learnt that the present Government – which was reelected to office in 2013 on a distinctly anti-privatisation platform – has entered into an agreement to sell the BNTCL (the company that owns and operates our nation’s only oil terminal) to the Kyffin Simpson-owned SOL Group, and to thereby bring about a “Merger” between the SOL Group of companies and BNTCL.

It is against this background that the Clement Payne Movement now hereby makes an official request that the Fair Trading Commission carry out a comprehensive investigation into this proposed sale of BNTCL to the SOL Group, with a view to exploring all of the possible “anti competition” and monopolistic implications of the said sale.

Indeed, we wish to remind the Fair Trading Commission that under Section 5 (I) (e) (III) of the Fair Competition Act, Chapter 326 C of the Laws of Barbados, the Fair Trading Commission possesses the power (and is bound by a statutory duty) to take such action as it considers necessary to prevent mergers that are detrimental to the principles that the Commission is mandated to uphold.

The Clement Payne Movement has paid very close attention to Section 20 of the Fair Competition Act, and we believe that this section of the Act provides your Commission with an excellent framework for analyzing the relevant facts and for ultimately determining that the incestuous sale of BNTCL to SOL must not be permitted to be consummated.

The relevant portions of Section 20 are as follows :-

(1)  From the commencement of this Act, all mergers by an enterprise that by itself controls not less than 40 percent of any market are prohibited unless permitted by the Commission in accordance with this section.

(Thus, in light of the fact that SOL already controls a massive 70 per cent of the market, a “prima facie” case already exists for prohibiting its merger with BNTCL ! Indeed, the Commission is obligated to begin the process with a preliminary decision in favour of prohibiting the merger – a decision that may only be reversed if there are really compelling reasons to do so!)

(2)  The Commission shall conduct an investigation into the proposed merger in order to satisfy itself that the proposed merger would not affect competition adversely.

(Mr Mauricio Nicholls, the CEO of Rubis Caribbean, has already publicly pointed out that competition will be adversely affected in that Rubis’ business in Barbados is dependent on the operations of the country’s only fuel terminal, and that with the proposed merger the said fuel terminal will be exclusively in the hands of Rubis’ sole competitor. One therefore cannot want any more  direct or compelling evidence of an adverse effect on competition than this!)

(3)  The Commission shall conduct an investigation into whether the proposed merger would be detrimental to consumers.

(SOL is a private sector company that operates on a profit maximizing principle, and that has to answer to its profit-demanding shareholders. No doubt, it will be driven by the desire to recoup the tens of millions of dollars it will have spent on acquiring BNTCL and by the additional desire to make a profit on its investment. Thus, only a purblind idiot would believe that such a sale and merger would not bring in its train  increases in retail fuel prices to the Barbadian consumer!)

(4)  The Commission shall conduct an investigation into whether the proposed merger will be detrimental to the economy.

(In the six years between 2011 and 2017 Rubis Caribbean purchased Chevron Texaco’s Barbados operations; invested an additional US $50 Million in Barbados; increased its number of service stations from 12 to 17; and is in the process of constructing its Caribbean headquarters building in Barbados. But, Mr Mauricio Nicholls, Rubis’ CEO, has publicly warned that if Rubis’ sole competitor – the SOL Group – is given the distinct and unassailable competitive advantage of owning the country’s only fuel terminal, that Rubis will have to reconsider remaining in Barbados. Therefore, the clear answer to the question is:- yes, the proposed merger would be detrimental to the Barbados economy!)

It should also be further noted that none of the factors specified in Section 21 of the Fair Competition Act for permitting a merger apply to this case. These factors are as follows:-

1.  A merger may be permitted if the parties establish that the merger is likely to bring gains in real efficiencies that are greater than the effects of the limitation on competition that are likely to result from the merger.

(It is difficult – if not impossible – to conceive of a more efficient arrangement than the one that exists now, with the state-owned entity fairly and even – handedly servicing all of the private sector retail companies, and at the same time looking out for the consumer by settling for a rate of return that is extremely modest and yet still sizeable enough to enable the enterprise to make a more than reasonable profit for the Government and people of Barbados. Thus, one CANNOT argue that the proposed merger will bring any gains in efficiencies, much less any gains that would be capable of off-setting the obvious ill effects of the limitation on competition that the merger would cause.)

2.  A merger may be permitted if one of the parties to the merger is faced with actual or imminent financial failure, and the merger represents the least anti-competitive alternative uses for the assets of the failing business.

(This is a total non-factor! Not only is SOL one of the richest, most powerful and most stable companies of Barbados, but no less an authority than Sir Frank Alleyne, Government’s former Chief Economic Adviser, has publicly described BNTCL as the “Crown Jewel” of all Government enterprises! Thus, neither one of these profitable and stable companies requires this proposed merger in order to survive!)

It is against this background therefore that we now call upon the Fair Trading Commission to do its duty and to protect Barbados and Barbadians from the spectre of unhealthy monopoly and the unholy restriction or distortion of competition that this proposed sale and merger portends.

We also remind the Fair Trading Commission that it is an INDEPENDENT entity that is governed by its own Act of Parliament, and that it not beholden to any particular Minister of Government or partisan political Administration.

We trust that the professionalism and objectivity of the Fair Trading Commission will shine through all of its dealings with this matter, and that there will be no need for recourse to the ultimate Review role that the Supreme Court of Barbados always reserves for itself in matters of this nature, particularly where duties are imposed and procedures stipulated by an Act of Parliament.

We now look forward to hearing from the Fair Trading Commission as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully

DAVID A. COMISSIONG

PRESIDENT

 

Deltro Barbados = Suntech Arizona

Compiled by Due Diligence

The Deltro name first surfaced in an October 25, 2015 story in Barbados Today which quoted Mia Motley saying “Any day now this Government will have another government entity sign yet another power purchase agreement with yet another Canadian outfit, called Deltro Electronic Inc, to provide power to a new utility company for 20 years in the first instance, and 80 years after that, a maximum of 20mw by way of photovoltaic energy,”

Subsequent background checking by BU contributors have disclosed that the Deltro Group is a small to mid-sized electrical contractor based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The character of the principals of Deltro Group, David Del Mastro and Dean Del Mastro is questionable. Apart from the court documents concerning David Del Mastro’s divorce, background checking of Deltro and David and Dean Del Mastro disclosed no  financial information.

On November 11, 2015 Deltro Group issued the following Press Release at DELTRO GROUP TO CREATE OVER 500 JOBS IN BARBADOS.

November 11, 2015 – The Deltro Group is pleased to announce the creation of a new Solar Manufacturing Facility in St. Michael. Featuring a state-of-the-art Meyer Burger manufacturing line, which has already arrived at the Bridgetown Port, this new manufacturing plant will support residential and industrial solar development in Barbados and beyond.

While admitting that other locations were studied and closely considered, David Del Mastro, President of the Deltro Group of Companies stated, “Ultimately, we determined that locating in Barbados was the right choice. This new facility has the potential to dramatically grow the green energy footprint throughout the Caribbean and the Americas, while creating good jobs and new opportunities; I am really excited about it.”

In welcoming the Deltro Group on behalf of the Barbadian Government, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss has lauded the decision to make Barbados its base, stating, “This level of investment shows the faith of Deltro in our economy and is in sync with Government’s vision to develop a renewable energy sector, of which manufacturing is a viable part.”

A retrofit and upgrade of the manufacturing facility is presently being designed with the architectural work being completed by P.B. Simpsons Architects Ltd., while M.A.G. Construction Inc. has been awarded the renovation contract. Both local companies are based in St. Michael.

“M.A.G. will be hiring a minimum of 80 workers to complete the renovations.  It is obvious that this significant investment in Barbados by the Deltro Group will have an immediate positive impact on our country; the timing could not be better,” stated President, Mark Griffith. “The fact that a new green energy manufacturer is investing and creating hundreds of highly sought-after positions will be welcomed by us all.”

Over the next decade, renewable energy is expected to be one of the fastest-growing global industries. Deltro is an experienced and recognized leader in solar energy engineering, procurement, design and construction. As part of this investment, Deltro Group will headquarter Deltro Solar, Deltro H2O, Deltro Energy, Deltro Generasol and Deltro Caribbean in Barbados. The Deltro Group expects to significantly increase value-added exports from Barbados by combining industry-leading technology and competitive pricing with a proven track record as a distinguished industry leader.

A December 17, 2015, report titled The heat is on stated:

By early next year DELTRO Group is expected to set up a $26 million solar manufacturing plant on the island,

DELTRO President David Del Mastro said equipment for the project had already been purchased and awaiting clearance from the Bridgetown Port. He added that a location had been identified for the facility, which is expected to hire more than 160 people once in full operation.

“We expect that to happen early 2016 with construction and the line operating by March to April. That would be our test bed and once we have the line tuned up, full employment by June at the latest,” said the company president.”

An August 5, 2016 another story titled Deltro Executive fires back in Barbados Today stated the following:

Deltro Group Ltd is a Barbados-based company as are its affiliates Deltro Solar and Deltro Caribbean Corporation, complete with Barbados-based bank accounts. Deltro will employ Barbadians, hundreds of them in fact, and will be investing hundreds of millions of dollars into the Barbados economy.

Deltro is not seeking to take anything away from Barbados; in fact quite the opposite is true. Deltro is building an export focused business that will sells its goods internationally for US dollars and pay all of its workers and expenses in Barbados dollars. All of which is expansionary for the Barbados economy, benefits Barbadians and supports the foreign exchange system employed by the Central Bank in Barbados,”he added.

DD wonders – How did a $26 million solar manufacturing plant become investing hundreds of millions of dollars into the Barbados economy.

On  August 12, It’s Time posted the following at DELTRO GROUP: BARBADIANS HAVE A RIGHT TO QUESTION THE CHARACTER OF THE DEL MASTROS

It’s Time August 12, 2016 at 10:58 AM #
/.comment-head 40 Million dollars in which currency?
Motion for Asset Sale Approved for Suntech America, Inc.

May 11 15
The US Bankruptcy Court gave an order approving the sale of certain assets of Suntech America, Inc. on May 11, 2015. The debtor has been authorized to sell certain assets to Deltro Electric Ltd. pursuant to the asset purchase agreement dated April 24, 2015, for a purchase price of $0.55 million in cash. The debtor’s assets include those assets located at Suite F of Goodyear One building and used in, or relating to the business of production of solar panels. The offer of Deltro Electric is the highest and best offer received for the assets. On April 8, 2015, Deltro Electric wired $0.06 million to the debtor as a good faith deposit. Closing will occur no later than the later of May 15, 2015 or the date which is the first business day after the sale hearing. Michael Mazzuca of Gibson & Barnes LLP acted as legal advisor for Deltro Electric.
http://www.bloomberg.com/Research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=281807507

It’s Time August 12, 2016 at 11:02 AM #
/.comment-head October 15, 2015, Phoenix, AZ –
MEI Rigging & Crating performed a turnkey factory relocation for a solar panel manufacturing equipment company, destined for Barbados. Deltro Electric LTE, a solar contractor, needed help with a huge project to move their entire solar panel production factory from their Arizona location to Barbados to create solar panels for a solar energy farm. All this needed to be accomplished in 6 weeks – a project that would normally take 6 months to complete.
The solar panel factory relocation is part of an objective is to create solar energy farm as part of a national energy policy for Barbados, helping create national energy security for this sovereign island country in the East Caribbean.
MEI Rigging and Crating’s Arizona team executed the rigging teardown and disassembly of the solar line and other equipment, crated the production line and blocked and and braced it on an ocean container headed for Barbados. The Deltro Electric job used a total of 30 high cube containers (tall shipping containers) and 4 flatbed trucks to transport the disassembled solar module manufacturing line, along with everything else in the building. There were a total 55 skids and 15 crates used to package up all the equipment from the line. The largest size crate was for the Framing Station with dimensions of 268 x 147 x 79. The heaviest crate was the Laminator which weighed in at 32,000lbs (crate & tool) and measured 221 x 137 x 118.
“I feel a lot of pride in my work, especially with this project”, says Jake Louk, Project Manager for the Phoenix division of MEI Rigging & Crating, “tackling such a large move is a challenge, and being able deliver this job on such short schedule, reducing time to shipment by 80% really shows the best of the project management and execution abilities of our team”
http://meiriggingcrating.com/solar-energy-factory-relocation/

Very interesting.

I was curious about circumstances under which Deltro Electric Ltd bought certain assets from Suntech America Inc, in The US Bankruptcy Court in May 2015, and having those assets, comprising the manufacturing equipment relating to production of a solar panels, shipped to Barbados.

In a nutshell, Suntech America and Suntech Arizona were subsidiaries (via a BVI holdco) of Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (Chinese: 尚德; pinyin: Shàngdé) once the largest Chinese producer of solar panels, which went bankrupt in 2013.

Deltro bought the assets of a defunct manufacturing/assembly plant which Suntech could not operate profitably in America, had them shipped to Barbados where they say they will be investing hundreds of millions of dollars into the Barbados economy.

In October 2010, Suntech America opened plant in Goodyear, Arizona with 25 MW of annual production capacity and 75 new American employees. In March 2013 Suntech closed the plant in Goodyear, Arizona.

In May 2015 Deltro purchased the assets of the the Suntech, Arizona plant for US$550,000.00 and had them shipped to Barbados to set up a plant in Barbados.

So how did Deltro, a mid sized Canadian electrical contractor, finance the US$550,000.00 purchase?

There can be no doubt that Deltro had an agreement with the Government of Barbados to establish a solar panel manufacturing plant, complete with incentives/concessions, property/building for the manufacturing plant prior to purchasing the Suntech Arizona plant equipment, or it could not have arranged the financing.

When did the Deltro/GOB discussion/negotiations begin?

When did GOB sign agreement with Deltro?

Why have the details of the Deltro/GOB agreement not be made public?

What incentives did GOB extend to Deltro/Del Mastros.

What incentives did Deltro/Del Mastros extend to GOB Ministers

How could GOB enter into the agreement without T&CP approval and EIA?

How can Deltro expect to be able to manufacture solar panels in Barbados to compete with the giant solar panel manufacturers in China and elsewhere in the world.

This has all the appearances of making Cahill look like nickel and dime stuff.

To paraphrase the title of the Paulson Institute’s case study (see below) on the rise and fall of Suntech, the title of the story about Deltro/Barbados will be titled “A Canadian Solar Company’s Fleeting Run in the Barbados Sun”

The following is a brief chronology from a case study on the rise and fall of Suntech at: http://www.paulsoninstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/PPI_Case-Study-Series_Suntech_English.pdf

A Chinese Solar Company’s Fleeting Run in the Arizona Sun

2000  Germany passes generous solar incentives to encourage utilities to buy electricity generated from private green power generators.

2001  Dr. Shi Zhengrong returns to China from Australia to found Suntech Power Holdings, with a $6 million initial investment from the Wuxi City government.

2002  Suntech’s first 10 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic cell production line begins operation in Wuxi.

2004  Shi ousts a Wuxi government appointed chairman and assumes dual position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of the Board.

2005  April: At Shi’s urging, local government funds and state enterprises sell their stakes in Suntech to private investors.
December: Suntech succeeds in its initial public offering and raises $400 million, as its shares close at $20.35 on the first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

2006  January: The US federal Energy Policy Act of 2005, signed into law by President George W. Bush, takes effect. Among its provisions is a 30 percent investment tax credit for commercial and residential solar energy systems.

July: Suntech America is incorporated in San Francisco, California.
November: Arizona adopts a Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff, mandating that regulated utilities in Arizona generate 15 percent of all electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

December: Representatives from Arizona State University meet with Suntech’s CEO and Chief Operating Officer at its headquarters in Wuxi.

2007  Shi travels to Arizona and meets with then-Governor Janet Napolitano and Bill Harris, CEO of the Arizona Science Foundation. Shi is the guest of honor at a dinner attended by a number of industry leaders.

2008  Lehman Brothers collapses, triggering a series of events that leads to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Weak consumer confidence, diminished consumer and business spending, and tight credit contribute to a marked slowdown in demand for products that require large initial capital expenditures, including solar. Government incentive cuts in Europe also contribute to weakening solar demand.

2009  February: US Congress passes the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, setting aside $6 billion for Department of Energy loan guarantees for solar companies and projects. A “Buy American” mandate is included in the bill.

May: Suntech announces its intention to open a manufacturing facility in the United States and begins a site selection process.
September: Suntech announces that it has selected Arizona as the site of its North American manufacturing facility.

2010  April: Department of Commerce (DOC) opens an investigation into a complaint brought by the United Steelworkers union against Chinese aluminum extrusion exporters.

September: US government announces its preliminary decision that China unfairly subsidizes factories that produce aluminum extrusion products, also used in solar panels, and proposes countervailing (CVD) and antidumping (AD) duties.

October: Suntech America opens plant in Goodyear, Arizona with 25 MW of annual production capacity and 75 new American employees.

2011  A coalition of US solar manufacturers brings trade case against China, alleging that the Chinese government is unfairly subsidizing Chinese solar manufacturers, thus inflicting material harm on US industry.

2012  May: DOC finds that the Chinese government is unfairly subsidizing solar manufacturers to support exports and imposes AD and CVD duties on Chinese solar exports.

July: Suntech announces that it is the victim of a $690 million fraud related to a joint venture agreement in Europe.

2013  Suntech closes its Arizona factory at the beginning of March. By the end of the month, the company defaults on a bond payment and is declared bankrupt.

Below are other links re Suntech.

Why a Chinese Firm’s Solar-Panel Factory in Arizona Failed

http://www.law360.com/articles/610553/suntech-s-us-units-hit-ch-11-as-part-of-global-reorganization

In petitions before the Delaware bankruptcy court, both Suntech America Inc. and Suntech Arizona Inc. sought Chapter 11 protection listing more than $200 million in debt between the two of them, all of it unsecured and much of it from intercompany claims from firms within the Suntech family of companies.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/business/energy-environment/suntech-declares-bankruptcy-china-says.html?_r=0

Suntech was the Icarus of the solar panel industry, with production that soared year after year on heavy investment, as Western investors bought up its New York-traded shares and its international debt issues. Part of a massive Chinese government effort to dominate renewable energy industries, Suntech grew to 10,000 employees in its hometown of Wuxi and even set up a small factory in Arizona to do further assembly of panels there.

http://bankrupt.com/misc/Suntech_A_1st_Day_Affidavit.pdf

Suntech Arizona is also directly owned by Suntech ES and is based in Goodyear, Arizona. Suntech Arizona owns no real property and leases a manufacturing facility in Goodyear (the “Goodyear Facility”). Prior to ceasing production in April 2013, the Goodyear Facility manufactured PV modules that it sold to Suntech America. While Suntech Arizona does not own the Goodyear Facility, it does own the manufacturing equipment housed at such facility. Other than such manufacturing equipment, Suntech Arizona owns no other significant tangible assets.

Suntech Power – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (Chinese: 尚德; pinyin: Shàngdé) is a Chinese producer of solar panels, with 2,000MW of annual production capacity by the end of…

Clarify Water Policy Please!

Submitted by Anthony Davis

BWA_artist_impression.pngThe Barbados Water Authority  (BWA) today announced a temporary ban on the use of water for a wide range of activities including watering of gardens, lawns and grounds. “And unless the rain begins to fall soon, the BWA is likely to begin rationing water, the state agency said – Barbados Today February 26, 2016

Well, well, well Mr. Marvell!

I must really marvel at these draconian measures for the use of water by the population of this country. Pray tell me, Mr. Marvell, do all of these measures really apply to everyone living in Barbados, or is there one law for the Medes and another for the Persians as usual?

What do you expect the farmers and the hotels to do?

Shall the hotels for which tourists pay exorbitant prices tell their guests that the swimming pools can no longer be filled?

Can those with golf courses – especially a certain one on the West coast – tell its well-heeled guests that the golf courses will not be watered and therefore no golf can be played before they jump into their private jets and head home?

Have you sent a notice to this Government that it cannot give away 30 years of water to Cahill Energy or any other company if there is not enough for the population and the visitors who pay so much money to spend some time in Barbados?

If not, why not?

If we don’t have enough water for ourselves and our guests, where will we find a  free 30-year supply of that commodity for Clare Cowan who probably doesn’t know what such a plant looks like?

Seeing that water is such a precious, sought-after commodity, should our Government be giving it away?

No one gives away gold, silver or diamonds unless he/she has millions, if not billions, of $US on the bank – and this Government certainly does not have enough millions to give away that commodity.

Home drums should always beat first!

This leads to the other topic which is linked to this one.

I must digress here.

Minister Kellman, are you not one of those persons who signed the Cahill MOU in which you are selling land at  6 cents per acre to Cahill Energy?

Why do you expect the populace  of this country to pay $5 per sq.ft.?

Shouldn’t those who pay such high taxes pay the same price or less?

That would only be fair!

They even pay you!

What do you mean by “suitable persons”?

Must the squatters also bring proof that they are squatting?

Methinks that this is a retrograde step – especially where the farmers are concerned, although Mr. Paul is one of those who stood up in Parliament and stated that the Cahill Energy plant will be the best thing for Barbados since sliced bread.

Notwithstanding that two such plants have had to be shut down – one of them being in Clare Cowan’s home country, and one in Glasgow “failed to secure planning approval”.

How many more will this happen to before this Government sees the folly of its ways?

He has water to give Cahill, but none for his own people.

What does the anti-environment Minister say?

Or, is he only into garbage?

“There’s no justice when the relevant people are silent.”

BURNSIDE: Waste Characterization Report (Cahill)

The purpose of a solid waste characterization study is to identify the quantity and composition of the waste stream being generated or collected by a facility. In this case the waste stream being generated […]
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Minister Denis Kellman’s Reply

Denis Kellman M.P., Minister of Housing

Denis Kellman M.P. Minister of Housing

The following letter is a reply by Minster of Housing Denis Kellman to a Barbadian who exercised her right under the Constitution of Barbados. We have always found Kellman to be approachable – as all ministers of government should be. That said, one must question […] -what the Minister meant to communicate.>

CEO of Cahill Energy, EXPOSED!

Cowan a little peeved with Tempro

Cowan a little peeved with Tempro

More documents leaked to BU expose the financial state of the CEO of a company described as the facilitator of a USD350 million waste-to-energy plant in Barbados. In recent days, Barbadians agitating against […] Continue reading

Minister Donville Inniss’ Cahill ‘Transcript’

Minister Donville Inniss must be given credit for joining the Facebook Group – Bajans Against $700M Waste To Energy Plant. It is a decision many of his colleagues will never (ever) make, especially Minister Denis Lowe […] Continue reading