On Friday afternoon, October 24th, the San Pedro Sun , received a call from a concerned citizen that there had been an oil spill which originated from the pier where Belize Electricity Limited's (BEL) diesel barge unloads. The spill is said to have covered the area from the Texaco pier to in front of Fido's Courtyard.
According to Mr. Pott, BEL employee overseeing the unloading of the diesel supply, there was no major spill and no need for concern. He explained that usually when the hose leading from the barge is connected to the unloading pipe some diesel escapes. When this happens a dissolving agent is used to dissolve the spilled oil. A small bucket is also placed under the hose and pipe connection to catch droplets of diesel that may otherwise fall into the sea.
Every 10 days BEL unloads 30,000 gallons of diesel. Mr. Pott said that the generators burn something close to 40 gallons an hour and 3000 gallons a day. He also explained the unannounced electricity outage that took place early in the day. 'After 1:00 a.m. one of the generators stopped working. We were repairing two other ones and the one we had working up to a little after 7:00 a.m. didn't want to take its load, that's when the electricity went off. It wasn't something we planned, but we worked as quickly as we could to get electricity to everyone who didn't have it."
In June of this year, the San Pedro Sun printed an article about the underwater marine cable that would be used to connect San Pedro to Mexico and the mainland's electricity supply. In an interview with Mr. John Balderamos of BEL, he said that the marine cable would be completed and ready for installation in February of 1998, putting an end to the delivery of fuel to the island. The supply of electricity will then depend upon an entirely different set of circumstances.
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