The Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) Company says global supply chain disruptions have led to a shortage of materials needed for some of its operations.
However, it has assured it is working with suppliers “around the clock to manage the situation in the interest of the country, company and its customers”.
The utility company added that where delays in supplies will, or are likely to, impact the delivery of a customer service request those persons will be notified.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, BL&P said it had not escaped the challenges of an increase in delivery times for goods and services or shortages of needed materials, which had been brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
The power company’s inventory impacted by the current situation include transformers, cables, switchgear, engine components and other items used to deliver electricity to customers.
The utility company said continuous price increases further compounded the lengthy wait for goods and services.
According to Light & Power’s Supply Chain Administrator, Chano Belle: “The company is competing in the global market space, which means that we have to wait our turn like everyone else for service and aspects of our operations have been affected by this disruption.
“We started to see these trends developing in 2020, early into the pandemic. We recognised that suppliers in some cases could not fully meet the quantities requested and then months later, the delivery timelines given had doubled or tripled. In a recent situation in the USA, materials that once were delivered by truck from state to state and then to the international shipping port were hindered because of the unavailability of trucking. With all that, we have not only begun to place orders earlier but also to increase the size of our orders.”
Belle added that the company has also been sourcing replacement parts from alternative suppliers from other parts of the world that are less impacted by the global supply chain issues.
“We have been leveraging our opportunity to allow Emera, as the parent company, to negotiate for critical spares for the wider group and on our behalf, rather than functioning as a single entity. There is tremendous benefit from being a part of a larger organisation of electric utilities,” he said.