Thornley Myers, CEO of VINLEC. (IWN file photo)

Reports that VINLEC, the state-owned and sole electricity company in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), is for sale are “absolutely” not true, Chief Executive Officer of VINLEC, Thornley Myers tells I-Witness News.

“I don’t know where that could have come from,” Myers said Wednesday evening, hours after former minister of communications and works, engineer Glenford Stewart said on radio that discussions were being help with Emera Caribbean Inc. regarding the sale of VINLEC.

Emera, along with Icelandic firm Reykjavik, is a major stakeholder in the US$80 million geothermal power plant being developed in SVG.

VINLEC is expected to buy the electricity from the two foreign firms and resell it to consumers.

VINLEC has not published financial statements for some years, but its assets include two power plants — including the EC$170 million Lowmans Bay Power plant commissioned in November 2011 — and three hydro power plants.

Vinlec's power station in Cane Hall. (Photo: Vinlec.com) VINLEC’s power station in Cane Hall. (Photo: Vinlec.com)

Stewart said on the NDP’s radio programme that the Ralph Gonsalves government, which sold majority share of the state-owned bank in 2010, needs the money from the sale of VINLEC.

“The country is in deep financial trouble, please be aware of that and I want the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to be aware of that,” he said on the programme that was hosted by NDP lawmakers, MP for West Kingstown, Daniel Cummings.

“Let us not be blind or play blind or stupid. VINLEC is the next company to go. Believe it or not. You check it out,” Steward said.

Cummings, who has described the geothermal deal as “a sinister plot to enrich people at the expense” of Vincentians, responded, “That is why this geothermal deal is so weird.”

Stewart, responded: “At the appropriate time, I will keep you up to date on the progress made on discussions.”

But Myers told I-Witness News, “There is no discussion taking place between anybody in VINLEC and I would think that if that was happening I would know about it. Absolutely not! That’s a rumour.” Stewart described Emera Caribbean Inc. as a reputable company, noting that it is traded on the Barbados Stock Exchange, and questioned why the company would be interested in the geothermal project if it were not for the opportunity to purchase VINLEC.

“We have to determine what is the present situation with VINLEC, what are their assets, etc. For the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to have any stake in this matter, they may have to buy shares in Emera Caribbean Incorporated; otherwise it just goes by the wayside,” Stuart said.

10 replies on “VINLEC not for sale, CEO says”

  1. Yet another ‘master stroke’. A $700+ million white elephant airport project that is nowhere near completion. The sale of NCB, borrowing money from NIH to pay NIH, putting 600+ acres in Bequia up for sale and now the possible sale of Vinlec. This government is on a roll, unfortunately to the detriment of its people.

    1. Luther Bonadie says:

      Alfred,

      I wonder where you guys come from, I believe that you folks just sit around dreaming and suddenly you folks wake up and come up with these imaginary lines about what benefit Vincentian, meanwhile, you all got your bias and stupid ” donkey cart minds ” in and around the business of this land looking for something free.

      People like you got nothing to add to this society.

      You stupid folks must shut up when you got nothing to say, and don’t know what to say, and if you did you would not know how to say it.

      This land belongs to all of us, keep your small mind out of the way.

      It is people like you dumb ass Vincentians who are the detriment of it’s people.

      1. Luther, you should thank your lucky stars that there are some dumb ass Vincentians, otherwise you and your boss would be long gone.

  2. Apparently Mr Myers did not listen to the geothermal debate in the house, or he couldn’t have said “I don’t know where that could have come from”. If he had listened, he surely would have heard Mr Eustace with his usual “cry foul” unpleasantries, insinuating that the PM is eyeing up to sell VINLEC. According to Eustace …”When Emera and Reykjavik set the rate of return that they expect on their investment, let us all hope that we know and are told what this rate of return is, because they have already shown their preference you know, and what role they’ll play or seem to want to play in the Caribbean in the future, and if we can’t meet the rate of returns that they expect I hope they not coming for VINLEC…we have to be careful that Emera does not own VINLEC”. Moreover, Glenford Stewart and Daniel Cummings are only propagandizing further on Nice radio what Eustace insinuated in Parliament, a downright underhandedly cheap broadcast. So why should any reasonable person be surprised when they take to Nice radio with their usual “comess”, is it not all a part of their “scaremongering” tactics, NDP’s favorite “modus operandi” especially leading up to elections?

    1. Vinciman, the deal is already agreed. If the ULP win the election they will sell VINLEC double quick time.

      1. When (not If) the ULP wins the upcoming election, we will hold the PM to his word when answering back to Eustace he said “you (Eustace) say you want to privatize VINLEC, I say NO”!… and he repeated it a second time!

      2. Vinciman, as far as I am concerned it doesn’t matter what he said in Parliament, he is known to lie in and out of parliament so how on earth can we rely on what he said?

  3. Yes, I support the sale, as long as adequate regulations are put in place to ensure that the public is protected from gouging and screwing. Utility companies all over the world have been privatized to the benefit of consumers. CWSA should be sold off as well.

    Governments use these utilities as a means of controlling their hold on the populace and rewarding their cronies. Long live private enterprise!

    1. David its not just the controls after the sale. Its what Gonsalves will waste the money on at the time of sale, woosh! it will disappear.

  4. Luther, what on earth is wrong with your tiny mind. The man has the right to free speech, especially seeing as what he wrote is spot on true and factual. So instead of addressing what he wrote you try and demolish the man and stop his right to freedom of speech.

    There is nothing bias about fact, and that is also a fact.

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