Case between DOMLEC and Gov’t not politically motivated – Cover says

DOMLEC Managing Director Collin Cover. Photo credit:

(DNO) General Manager of the Dominica Electricity Services Limited (DOMLEC) Collin Cover has denied that a court matter between the government of Dominica and his company was politically motivated.

DOMLEC is seeking $100 million in compensation following the shortening of the time span  of  its license to generate electricity from 2025 to 2015 due to an amendment in the electricity supplies act.

Cover said at a press conference at DOMLEC’s office yesterday that DOMLEC is only seeking to get compensation for what it believes is owed to it.

“The basis of it is this, DOMLEC had a licence to generate until 2025 and the license was curtailed until 2015 and so DOMLEC feels like that there was something that it had that was taken from it and is simply looking for what we consider to be reasonable compensation for what it had that was taken away,” Cover said.

Cover further stated that DOMLEC was not the one who had taken the government to court but in fact is quite the opposite.

“Let me put it straight. We are not taking the government to court. We have asked the government to meet us in arbitration which is different from taking us to court. Now, what has happened though,  is that the government has now filed in the High Court to prevent the arbitration movement from going forward. So in fact the government has taken DOMLEC to court.

“But in response to … our requesting an arbitration process, they have not taken us to court to cease the arbitration process. So that is where we are. I think the first hearing is in July… their attorneys have been speaking with our attorneys so far,” Cover said.

Cover noted that DOMLEC’s decision to challenge the government on the matter was not politically motivated.

“Domlec was not politically motivated. But let me just simply say straight up what happened.  We did not want this to come… for the elections and so we intentionally waited till after the elections.  But we also wondered that if the government had changed  and we had presented our petition right after the government had changed, if the new government would have said, well how come you all  didn’t give it to the other government in power, why you all wait until we do it now,” Cover stated.

“ But we did really wait until after the elections because we just didn’t want it to become something to be bantered about in the election but we also realized that if the other government had won and when we presented our case to them…the opposite of what Mr Savarin said would have been said by the new government if they had won,” Cover said.

Cover also stated that he doesn’t believe that the current court matter will interfere with the government’s decision in granting DOMLEC’s license for generation, which it is currently seeking.

“I feel the government is a mature government. And I think that not because you have a disagreement you got to do what they call cut off your nose to spit your own face. I really believe that in the government, the people who have reacted, in particular, I can speak of Mr. Savarin, last year when he was my minister, I’ve had many conversations with him and I do not believe that he is an irrational person,” Cover said.

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    June 4, 2010

    This matter of DOMLEC should have attracted much more national attention before it got to this stage. The people of Dominica (The consumers) together with the various governments, have allowed the current Off-Shore owners to continue to manipulate the electricity sector in the same manner that CDC did in the early days of its establishment, and again in more recent times, after the sale of the Government’s shares during the UWP regime.
    When the CDC had put up their shares for sale, local business did apprach the same Mr. Saverin asking him to use his position in the then colation governemnt to convince his colleague to either take back the shares for a dollar, like Guyana did, when CDC was trying to do the same thing when the were taken to task for non-peformance. Alternatively, he was asked to support a group local businessmen to buy the shares instead. Instead, a lot of deal-making reportedly took place thereby allowing another profit hungry off-shore entity (WRB) to actually take over the utility.
    Later on, at the insistence of the World Bank, the legislation was changed to accommodate some semblance of regulation of the utility, through the establishment of the IRC together with the reduction of the current license period. DOMLEC found themselves having to confirm to acceptable international competitive practices and apparently failed to take the necessary actions to do so. Now that they are appraching the ternination of their license period, they are trying to frighten this relatively in-experienced Government into making their usual irrational decisions. In this regard the IRC needs to live up to the expectations of the consumer and stay focussed on the tasks that they were set up to carry out. So far there has been no realy changes in the sector and the benefit has been given to them as they were busy setting up and training staff.
    It is assinine to conceed to the things that DOMLEC have been demanding and getting away with over the past 14years. In many other territorities in the Caribbean, there would already have been massive public demonstrations against it the excessive rates being charged, together with relatively poor quality and reliability of the service provided. As a point of comparison, 100% of St Lucia’s and many other CARICOM countries electricity is being supplied from imported fossil fuels while Dominica’s electricity supply is generated from a combination of Hydro-power and fossil fuels (about a 35:65 ration. Yet the electricity rate in Dominica is among the highest in the world and is certainly reported to be the highest in the Caribbean. Why is this so? DOMLEC says that it is because of the terrain of its distribution system. Personally, I do not buy that as St Vincent and to a lesser externt St Lucia also have similar challeges to contend with.
    So…..I do fully support the call for the governemnt to take back the company at whatever cost…as the people of Dominica do need to get the benefit of this utility and not the off-shore shareholder who cream off at least EC$6.0 million per year for the past 5-6 years, making them a good return for their EC$16.0 Million when they bought the CDC shares in 2004 or thereabouts. Moreover, the Governemnt own utility will then be able to more easily access funds to upgrade and diversify the sector from the vast pool of available doner funds for this specific purpose, to enable the consumer to get a better qualit service at more effective rates.
    SHAME ON YOU WRB…….AND SHAME ON YOU DSS. Its time to release the pressure on poor people in Dominica

  2. Insult to injury
    May 23, 2010

    and Domlec is bosting it has received a grant from the U.S government to establish wind energy in Dominica. ha ha ha ha ebeh nou pwi.

    wind energy @ what price to us? Management is so poor, They can’t even manage hydro they get for free, made a mess out of it, the HIGHEST electricity rates in the caribbean! What makes them think they can handle wind.
    By their track record It won’t be worth anything to Dominica, what a waste of a company. my kids can do a better job than Domlec.

  3. Too Little Too Late
    May 21, 2010

    Pure politics, even sarcarsm , well….their party didn’t win so he doing one for the loosers!
    Tring to bancrupt an already poor country. HEARTLESS ….S.
    Skerritt needs to lobby Chavez and Castro for some money or loans to NATIONALIZE DOMLEC! and free us from that mess their UWP put us in.

    May 21, 2010

    To all the commentators on here…I do believe that you need lessons in Comprehension. Read and absorb written information before commenting; because all those comments have no bearing on the article. Shame that you all weren’t able to read, understand and comprehend what the gentle man was relaying. It matters not which government managing the affairs of the state whatever is for the good of the country should be addressed in a tactful and professional manner….AND though I am not in favor of the operators of DOMLEC cause they are just there for profit….we as an intelligent people need to understand the issues affecting our basic needs before jumping to conclusions and stupid comments.

    • ” I really believe that in the government, the people who have reacted, in particular, I can speak of Mr. Savarin, last year when he was my minister, I’ve had many conversations with him and I do not believe that he is an irrational person,” Cover said. ”

      I am not about to light a fuse here: However, whereas some people may only see the Camera, some people see the picture that the camera produced.

      The fact that he is talking about the reaction of the people, while pretending or attempting to excluded, or omit Savarin is not sound. We can accomplish the same thing by using different methods, and tactics. We can decide to travel East by using a South East route, and eventually end precisely dead East.

      It is not that people do not understand what they read, it’s simply a matter of their interpretation of what they read. It is my perception that Collin has placed Savarin in the same category as all the others he classified as irrational.

      I remain firm on my opinion!

      Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

    • Staying Tuned
      May 21, 2010

      What are you really saying. Are you giving support to DOMLEC for their court action against the people of Dominica. DOMLEC is taking this action because the Govt of Dominica renegotiated the contract and said we are going in a different direction.

      DOMLEC has made no investment in D/ca’s electricity….nothng…nada….not even a energy star power generator, one that would be able to generate more while using less diesel.

      The government and people of D/Ca are investing in geothermal energy which will bring out cost of producing energy to lowest in the Caribbean , hence improving our chances of drawing large multi-corporations to D/Ca, to create jobs, drive revenue, reduce our debts.

      Domlec says, hold on not to fast. We need a piece of the pie and government and people of Dominca said, you are not entitled to anything. Domlec sues for a 100 Million dollars. Are you kidding me. In which country could these guys do these things.

      DOMLEC, not because we are small you are going to walk over us. We the people will not allow you to run D/ca broke while driving up the cost of electricity and reaping off huge profits.

      No Way, No How …DOMLEC

      You have already hauled in huge Economic Profits on the struggling back of poor Dominicans, with little or no investment in Assets.

      • Staying Tuned
        May 21, 2010

        My comments were directed at OOOOOOOOOOOOHSH@@@

  5. SiangUK
    May 21, 2010

    Let see.

    Electricity 2006, came into being in 2008 and it is 2010 DomLec is looking for compensation.

    EC$100million for a 10 years reduction, in the licence.

    See the type of money Dominica and Dominicans have been losing out on, since UWP sold DomLec.

    DomLec should not get one red cent more and no renewal of licence either.

  6. May 20, 2010

    I think DOMLEC and THE Government are two of a kind.

  7. zenfanh mochoroh
    May 20, 2010

    Haven’t Domlec squized enough out of my fellow Dominican citizens? We already have the highest electricity rates in the caribbean , service is inefficient and your company is complaining because your licence{ license} was shortened?
    Were you hoping that the opposition would have won and therefore guaranty your company more time to reap- off Dominicans even further? I am suprised that the Government would even entertain the thought of giving Domlec a licence to generate power. Government should consider purchasing Domlec from you guys. Domlec should be returned to local control as quickly as possible.
    Has government even considered abolishing the licencing requirements for owning a generator? Considering the fact that we live in a HURRICANE prone region? Someone please give me an answer.

  8. Collin Cover, I believe you need to be more careful with your vocabulary, you need to be more selective with the words you used to describe the people who revolve around you. It would appear to me that you use words without knowing the definition of the word.

    How can you define Savarin as an irrational person, to me you are humiliating this man, and it is not that I am defending him, however, one who is considered irrational, is someone without reason or understanding, in other words you are suggesting this man is a fool, since he is not endowed with reason or understanding, and is also lacking usual or normal mental clarity, and coherence.

    As defined above is what irrationalism is all about; you have made the claim that Savarin is operating on mere intuition, instinct, or simply feelings. As far as we know only animals function, or act on their instincts only; you see how much devastation the wrong use of words can cause?

    Would you appreciate it if someone thought of you in that way?

    When we are not in full command of the English language, we need to be careful with the words we use in our communication.

    I am not a linguist major, nonetheless, I will throw this one in for free, by saying; by the same token the word rational defines one having reason or understanding, relating to, or based on, or agreeable to reason. In other words one considered a reasonable person, over endowed with understanding.

    I think you owe Savarin an apology!

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

    • Irie
      May 21, 2010

      Weh francisco, read de article again………..weh papa….he actually said de opposite he DOES NOT BELIEVE SAVARIN TO BE AN IRRATIONAL MAN, tonneh….before you jump on de man case read de ting again, de question you should be asking is did the government commit a legal infrarction by shorten the license? Because alas WE DE TAX PAYERS, cannot handle a lawsuit, we cannot!

      • Well, not in so many words, but in any event there is something know as reverse psychology, and you have to interpret, and know what people are saying in the context in which they use the word.

        I have concluded that he is of the opinion Savarin is irrational, and that’s not debatable!

        Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

        • Irie
          May 22, 2010

          Francisco, that is debatable, in your opinion and through your perception you arrive at that conclusion. That is not absolute….that is based on your limited, subjective human judgement. Ou pas bondieu, so all your opinions and conclusions are in fact debatable especially on DNO. Now ponder on the real substance of the matter, does Domlec have a valid claim? Because if they are successful in their suit, then it is we the taxpayers of Dominica who end up carrying the burden…..or maybe you are not a taxpayer here so you are not concerned about that scenario, and you rather get caught up in the insignificance of analysising adjectives and interpreting ‘reverse psychology’. And by the way if someone were to pronounce savarin as irrational, I do believe that would be calling a spade a spade and that IS NOT DEBATABLE.

  9. Don John
    May 20, 2010

    Mr. Cover has a nerve, DOMLEC was sold to a T&T company, by the UWP for next to nothing and since then we DOMINICANS have been sucking salt with the disgusting service they are give to us DOMINICANS, they take the light when they want, the jack up the prices when they want, they have had over TEN Years to get light to all Dominicans they have not done that.

    Their license has been cut , and they want to be paid for that they are mad, they should pay us the people of Dominica, because they did not do what they were contracted to do, They are worst Company in Dominica, they have a new Meter which they installed on every one home saying that this meter will enable them to read the meter from their Office, but what they are not telling us is that this not in operation yet, they are trying to fool us again.

  10. Staying Tuned
    May 20, 2010

    Who is this man? How can this half of a man come tell us how to run our country. Can we deport this man and have DOMLEC returned to it rightful owner….DOMINICANS

  11. DA Man
    May 20, 2010

    Of all companies in Dominica, DOMLEC is the one asking for compensation from the people of Dominica. WOW! I am waiting to hear what the people have to say.

  12. Gov't giveth and Govt Taketh away
    May 20, 2010

    Who is this clown? How much did they pay for the license, what investments were made with it as the basis…. this is simple math

  13. Mr. know it all
    May 20, 2010

    … Well i guess we can afford that cause my prime minister can manage and budget well… he can just withdraw that from the Seven Hundred Million he promissed us :)….

  14. CHARU
    May 20, 2010



    • zenfanh mochoroh
      May 21, 2010

      Maybe we should organize a NATIONAL BOUZYE MONTH for real. I am once again calling for the nationalization of Domlec. The power company should be owned by the people. Millions of dollars worth of profit is sent {shipped} overseas every year. Profits reaped off the backs of our fellow citizens. Millions that could be used to improve the quality of service thats being offered at this time. When freedom was in charge Domlec belonged to the people, enter uwp and they sold Domlec giving the new owners ALL kinds of rights to press us. They were even guaranteed an 8% profit on their investments. I wonder what deals they were given under the TABLE.

  15. Critic
    May 20, 2010

    Ten years after UWP was physically catapaulted out of government, Dominica is still reeling from its high handedness in managing the economy. Like it or not Mr. Cover, this is a political matter. To ask for a quarter million EC for a ten year license is asking for 25 million dolllars compensation per year. When was the last time DOMLEC made 25 million dollars net profit? What is the rational for the compensation package DOMLEC. DOMLEC has shown absolutely nointerest in delivering to Dominica a quality power supply. They were forced to adhere to cerain basic principles of performance whenthe IRC came into being. Before that they did as they please. Mr. Cover has to be excused since he does not know of Dominica’s travails with DOMLEC spanning a period of more than 40 years.

  16. O_o
    May 20, 2010

    So that’s $100 million the gov’t won’t have to pay teachers and fix roads. I don’t know the terms of the contract, but the people are dissatisfied with domlec’s service and you guys turn around and basically sue the people of DA. Real nice.

  17. Neg Lawi
    May 20, 2010

    What a row…more to come

  18. wesleyman
    May 20, 2010

    This guy must not be Dominican, if he is saying Saverin is not irritional. HAHA

    • Dominican
      May 20, 2010

      He is not a Dominican…

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