bsi1There is still trouble in the sugar industry. After the 2011 cane crop got off to a late start, the Belize Sugar Industries factory had to be temporarily shut down due to malfunctioning turbines at the BELCOGEN plant. Late last week, things were looking up and the farmers were expecting to resume business early this week. But there is now another delay and B.S.I. has run into further problems with the equipment. According to Alfredo Ortega, the Chairman of the Committee of Management for the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, the work started from scratch today on one turbine, while a part of the other is in Guatemala.

Via Phone: Alfredo Ortega, Chairman, Committee of Management, BSCFA

“They were trying to do their best to see what the problems were and they were unable to find it. So yesterday what they did, they dismantled it all over again the turbine and today they are starting from square one to see what the problems are and start adjustment as of the very, very beginning. So there is no way, according to Mister Montalvo, that we can start the crop—not even on Wednesday because of these problems that they have encountered at this time.”

Delahnie Bain

“Do they have any idea how much longer it would be?”

Via Phone: Alfredo Ortega

Alfredo Ortega

“No ma’am. They are saying that anytime this week but there is not a tentative date as yet.”

Delahnie Bain

“Okay, there were two malfunctioning turbines right? Is the other one repaired already?”

Via Phone: Alfredo Ortega

“No, the rotor of it is in Guatemala and according to Mister Montalvo it will be returned to the country in about three weeks time.”

Delahnie Bain

“Okay. Are you concerned that this delay might go on for longer that had been initially predicted?”

Via Phone: Alfredo Ortega

“Yes, really we are very disappointed at how things are arising at this point in time because we thought that we would be having crops going for this week, but since they are uncertain at this moment, we really find ourselves in a really bad situation because financially, the farmers are really getting hounded.”

It means that for the six thousand farmers, bills will keep piling up.

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