Barbados Tourism Minister Richard Sealy on natural gas shortage – Hotels, businesses at fault for failing to plan for government’s failure to plan.

Barbados is paying the price for Prime Minister Stuart's wrong decisions and planning failures.

Barbados businesses and citizens are paying the price for Prime Minister Stuart’s wrong decisions, planning failures.

submitted by old todd

For the past four months – not “a few weeks” as said by The Nation newspaper – businesses, restaurants and hotels have been devastated by the failure of the Barbados Government to deliver sufficient natural gas. Every industry using natural gas has been impacted, right from biscuit maker WIBISCO that lost 60% production and 50% of export sales in December, to restaurants and hotels along the west and south coasts forced to close or suffer tourist cancellations.

Tourism Minister Richard Sealy says businesses should be ready for his government's failure to plan.

Tourism Minister Richard Sealy says businesses should be ready for his government’s failure to plan.

The harm to our tourism and manufacturing sectors will not be over when the shortage ends. It will take a year or more to regain the confidence of tourists and business customers who were directly impacted.

The government and the National Petroleum Corporation are portraying this as the failure of two wells – something that could not have been foreseen. What rot!

The truth is that Barbados has been running too close to the line for years, with known insufficient reserves and weaknesses in the distribution system. There was no surprise – this has been coming for years as predicted by industry pundits.

So now that the crisis is here, government is taking steps to import the machinery and perform repairs that should have been done years ago. That is only a stop-gap until new wells and natural gas imports can be arranged for.

And we have no money.

Government made decisions to withhold spending on distribution system maintenance and improvement. Government made decisions every year for the past seven to lower natural gas reserves and to sail closer to the disaster zone, counting on luck and hope that we would have enough gas to get through the busy tourist high season.

That was a decision and it was the wrong decision. Now the country is paying.

Further Reading

Barbados Today: Toppin: Deal with natural gas shortage

Nation News: Hoteliers told to get back-up energy

Nation News: Biscuit Blues

Advocate: PM: Efforts on to resolve natural gas shortage

5 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Economy, Energy

5 responses to “Barbados Tourism Minister Richard Sealy on natural gas shortage – Hotels, businesses at fault for failing to plan for government’s failure to plan.

  1. Party Animal

    I suppose the next thing would be Black Outs like what the Guyanese went through for years.
    What the HELL next.

  2. Ponce de Leon

    Surely the guvment can predict natural gas usage a year in advance and know they are running short if this or that happens! Poor show and incompetence by all levels.

  3. Party Animal

    This Guvment don’t even know we Broke

  4. Adrian Loveridge

    Sandals are quoting an 80 per cent occupancy soon after re-opening today. What will be the effect caused by accommodating and feeding another 450 people daily? Do they have an independent source of gas or are they connected to the mains?

  5. St George's Dragon

    There are a few Government Ministers who produce a lot of hot air. Could we get them converted so they produce natural gas instead?