by Linda Straker
- Shawn Charles will chair Grenlec’s board of directors
- Government’s buy-back deal concluded in December 2020
- Public Utilities Minister Norland Cox confirmed appointment on Tuesday, 25 May
Shawn Charles, a former employee of the Grenada Electricity Services Ltd who worked in the Planning and Engineering Department for 17 years, has become the first person to chair the board of directors following Government’s buy-back deal concluded in December 2020.
Public Utilities Minister Norland Cox confirmed the appointment on Tuesday, 25 May 2021, approximately 1 month after he and 8 others were elected in the annual general meeting to be the new board members.
Charles, according to his resume on the University of Auckland website, received his Diploma in Geo-informatics from the University Twente (International Institute for Geo-information Science and Earth Observation Faculty – ITC), the Netherlands, in 1998.
He then worked at the National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) in Grenada as a supervisor of the Mapping and Drafting Department. During this time, he underwent an Executive Diploma in Management from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago in 1999. He further pursued his Masters in Geo-information Science, specialising in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at the University of Twente, the Netherlands in 2003. Subsequently, he worked with Grenlec as an Engineering Assistant/GIS Specialist in the Planning and Engineering Department for 17 years.
The deputy chairman of the 9-member board is Devon Charles. The other members are Dorset Cromwell, Winifred Duncan-Phillip, Linda George-Phillip, Kent Mitchell, Duane Noel, Alexandria Otway-Noel, and Kay Simon.
In late December 2020, Government confirmed that it had complied with a tribunal award, after WRB Enterprises legal team successfully argued before the International Centre for Settlement Investment Disputes (ICSID) that certain clauses in the 2016 Electricity Supply Act will negatively impact its financial operations.
The tribunal’s judgment which was delivered in March 2020 gave up to 29 December 2020 to settle the repurchasing of majority shares and other fees which tallied US$75 million. The Government was able to settle a final payment of US$63 million. However, $60 million was paid immediately and the remaining US$3 million will have to be paid over the 2-year period.
At the time of making the announcement that it had regained the majority shares, Government said that it had already approached the World Bank and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to procure the services of a world-class management company to operate the utility, facilitate the divestment of the shares through public offering, and to advance the country’s objectives towards greater use of renewable energy and achieving energy security, returned reliability, lower prices, and greater access, including the provision of much-needed renewable energy, powered streetlights across the country. Government is yet to announce the name of the management company.
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