RDA and Aqualectra

Today’s News

Today is a big day for Aruba as today the formal signing will be taking place of the Letters of Intent with the entities mentioned in Patricia Garip’s article posted by Argus Media News on December 10th, 2020: Quanten Consortium Aruba, QCA, which reportedly also includes KBR, TGT, Quanten, LLC, Azimuth, Chem Energy, UC Berkley RAEL department with Dr Kammen, The State Department, The Department of Energy, McDermott, and Honeywell. I am just repeating, I have no clue who these players are, and Eagle is apparently not part of QCA, because QCA will introduce LNG/LPG, gas, and skip the need for electricity.

GOA is desperate for a miracle, realistic or not, it doesn’t matter, a miracle is a miracle, and that specific miracle wished for will bring about the revision of the Dutch Agreement, in three years, and hopefully with a rebound, sound and prosperous economy, with a state of the art, money-printing refinery, we will send the Dutch and their agreements packing.

I am asking you, does it sound realistic?

What we learned from our neighboring island Curacao.

Following Opinie – Ingezonden: Afgang Aqualectra, by Willem Kemper

Apparently, there were five blackouts in Curacao this year, more than 40 dark hours. The national power provider Aqualectra disappointed and caused not only irritation, but also economic damage.

The opinion published in Antiliaans Dagblad described the utility company as monopolistic and expensive, and while islanders logically should expect high-quality products and services, in reality the rates Aqualectra charges do not guarantee that, and over the past months, long blackouts occurred attesting to an unreliable infrastructure.

On December 7th, the mother of all blackouts took Aqualectra by surprise, they said, and Kemper questions how surprising can an ordinary Monday be, and why Aqualectra needed to plunge Curacao into darkness, three days in a row.

Why did the network fail on what seems an ordinary increase in consumption?  Kemper then calls Aqualectra’s bluff: “The truth is,” he says, “that Aqualectra has known for years that the instability of the grid is a cause for concern and despite all the technical possibilities that are available, nothing is done about it…. Substantial investments must be made to solve the problems, but instead of investing in the grid, and preventing energy losses, Aqualectra invested in three new generators, though they knew their distribution network must be overhauled. Obviously,” concludes the article, “the big problem is that utilities are monopolists who want to leave everything as it was.”

He then goes on to state: “Curaçao may claim to attract high-quality economic activities, but the hard truth is that barriers are being thrown to innovations in the field of energy supply. Monopolists kill innovations!”

I thought that article could have been written in Aruba. We suffered a blackout on Sunday, with only 25% of our tourists around, and with mild weather, it could not have been an increase in consumption that tripped the grid. What was it? Are they making investments in upgrades and upkeep, or are they funneling the little money they now have into salaries and Christmas bonuses?

When it rains in pours: On December 14th, the Netherlands issued code orange for Curaçao changing travel advice from code yellow to orange, because of the number of new cases added every day.

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December 15, 2020
Rona Coster