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Belize Electricity Limited
I know the electricity company in Belize does not read these boards, but I thought I might share with you what Im going through down here in Belize.
Electricity is bad, VERY BAD.
I have yet to lose any equipment, however in the past month power has been down at least a dozen times for more than 2 hours each time, and has dropped-and-popped (outage of around 5 seconds) at least 3 dozen times in May alone.
Im not sure why a 19th century technology cannot be stable in a 3rd world, but it surely is not.
Ive learned to use multiple power surge protectors in line before powering my UPS systems and I suspect that is the only reason that I have not lost any equipment yet.
Im located right at the boom cuttoff where datapro is, and fortunately, the datapro generators have worked perfectly without failure (even one time) for the past 3 years. However, the drops in power are still hard on equipment, and I thought any of you considering to move data centers there may want to know just how bad the infrastructure is.
Thank you belize electricity company, for pushing me over the edge and making me scream like a little biotch in public, but I just cannot take it anymore. I had been hoping to place servers in this country as the fiber is now here, but the way the electricity is here, a generator is not a backup, its the only reliable source of energy that exists in this country, and I dont plan on having backup generators for my backup generator.
Just a note, Power has dropped 2 times while I write this short post... and just before deciding to post this, I called the company and confirmed that there is no work being done at this time in my area. (lies are a part of customer service in this country... sad state of affairs but you rarely get the truth even when you are paying thousands of dollars per month for a service here). WHAT A JOKE!
Ok, a few more drops-n-pops since I posted that a few minutes ago, and as you can guess, the customer service department is unaware of 'any problems in my area' even though a phone call 5 miles away confirmed that its not just 'my area'.
If you dont mind, I think I will take it upon myself to give a regular report of how bad the electricity is.
Ill be sure to post the next time Belize Electricity Limited has a 24 hour period where my UPS's have not been used.
Just another day, and more outages. Its 8:15am local time, we are already into our 4th drop since midnight and B.E.L is smart enough to have sent their customer service hotline staff home for the day.... or informed them not to bother answering the phone calls. The previous 3 outages this morning lasted just less than an hour, and there were only 2 drops/pops and 2 - 1 hour outages since the previous posts yesterday afternoon. I guess there is a flipside to this coin.... You never have to worry about whether your generator or UPS units are functioning properly, they get exercised regularly.
Happy Mother's Day all you moms.
I didn't read the entire thread, but here's my 2 cents on Belize. I hate to bash a country, but it's a complete fvkin toilet. For 1, I did live there like 5 months. Mosquito paradise. HTF I don't have Malaria, I will never know. It's NOT safe IMO. And I don't get rattled ez. These 'crip 40's' are brutal. Only like 10% of the population works...............or at least it seems that way. Datapro rapes you on all the bills b/c G has it monopolized. There are only like 2 good places to eat in the whole city, or at least there were...............Chef Bobs burned down when I was there.
A respected BM told me before I went there that he heard it was as bad as jail...................well, I would rather spend 6 months in jail than 2 years in Belize working. Sorry Belize, but the country absolutely is a toilet. Start over again. Build REAL buildings, made out of something other than sheetrock............the outsides.................and get to work all you bums. These coksmokers broke into my jeep and stole all my luggage night b4 leaving for the airport there too. So I hope that they rot in my clothes and die in the street with my jewelry. ANYONE that says Belize isn't that bad, hasn't lived anywhere else good to compare it to. Unless they are coming in straight fom Nigeria or Iraq. Belize suks!
Life, you are crazy (or stupid) to have anything that resembles a data center without putting your equipment on batteries. If nothing else, these batteries will condition the current during the brief drops. Depending on how big your operation is, you can probably get by with $500 worth of batteries.
It's common sense.....
p.s. You did mention "UPS's" a couple times.....if you are referring to batteries, what is their "load life" (time that the equpment can run off of them?
Having lived in Central America for almost four years, there is little doubt that Belize has the worst overall telcom and energy infrastructure. Even Nicaragua with the larcenous prices for energy and telephone charges has better service than Belize. What good is an english speaking customer service department when they are totally indifferent to the customer or to their service?
As to the datapro setup it would have been much better if they had chosen a location adjacent to the airport. Even though the drive is not bad the energy seems to be more reliable near the airport for proximity to the control tower, the military base and most importantly the beer company.
Power is back (and so is this thread, to the top).
Actually power came back on at 2am so it was only an 11 hour outtage.
TTinCO, 'sometimes life is a bitch but you dont need to whine like one' is so true. You are right, Im just doing my part to speak the truth about the situation here before others make the suicide move here.
Thanks for listening to my whiny self.... and be cautioned when others tell you 'all is ok in beautiful Belize'.
LOL Lifes......11 hours!??!?!? Okay, now I get it.
p.s. My signature wasn't directed at you (I've had it for a while)......but I could certainly see how it could have been misunderstood in this thread.
Get the hell out of that 3rd world dump!
Still having fun in good ole belize, where power was out for up to 21 hours
yesterday, and is off again since this morning at 4:15am.
Oh the sweet sounds of that rattling briggs and straton. Kind of reminds
me of the old setups in the DR with a room full of D-cells and that faithfull inverter.
The electric company still tells me this is a simple line problem and that electricity
will be restored shortly (the default answer for any problems) while those in the
know say that this will continue through the dry season till the hydro-plants are
back in full swing. For those lucky enough to have a generator (I use an air-cooled
gas generator and do not run it for longer than 6 hours at a time), be sure to stay
on top of your fuel and oil consumption.... and keep your mechanic on standby.
Sad, sad state of affairs, (unless you are selling generators) if you are planning to
come down, you may want to think again.
Back to the top.
I had been neglegent in honoring what I said at the top of this thread.
Actually, Belize Electricity Limited was on an incredible streak, and had
provided non-stop electricity to my area for an entire 45 hours and 25 minutes.
At noon today, it would have been a record breaking 48 hours of non-stop,
non-drop-n-pop electricity service to the public of belize.
Well, they fell short of the 48hr record mark by 2 and 1/2 hours, but I have to give
them an "A-" for effort.
Word around town is that its not just my area, but its the entire country of
belize which is out of power (though many have generators, still, the whole
country sort of comes to a slow-down when power is gone on a business day).
Thanks for listening to this update, and may the force (of electricity) be with you all.
Just in case you thought no news was good news about power in Belize....
Unfortunately its not the case.
Power in the past 4 days has averaged between 5 and 10 hours (thats ON) per day in my area. Not even enough to keep the UPSs charged. Belize Electricity Ltd continues to lie to customers, saying that dust and dry weather has been causing problems with insulators and transformers.
My suspicions are that the dry weather means the monopoly power company cannot make their usual fortunes off of hydro-electric plants and are choosing not to spend money on diesel for the turbines.
Who knows how much money has been lost because local companies cannot operate when they have only 3 to 4 hours of power 2 times per day. Its a shame that Belizeans put up with it, but they know no better and have yet to make a stand
for something they pay hard-earned money for. I for one will be making lots of noise when it comes time to pay my bill this month.... and needless to say, plans of future business here would be suicidal because this country just does not have a biz climate where growth is possible.
Once again, anyone who tells you all is well in Belize, whether for business or for travel, is not giving you a straight story. Proceed with extreme caution.
This thread is of particular interest to me as misery loves company. My employer has locations in four Central American countries and every country suffers from either high cost or terrible service from the energy distribution companies. Fortunately, we are not in Belize, in large part due to the problem of such an unstable distribution network.
Moreover, in the the countries where Union Fenosa is the provider (Nicaragua and Panama) the prices are astronomical. In Nicaragua the situation is so bad that there are weekly protests in front of the Union Fenosa headquarters by the consumer defense network. In the barrios and in rural areas campesinos are forced to use illegal hookups to gain access to energy. Last week a ten year old kid was electrocuted trying to make a pirate connection.
It really makes you wonder who benefits from the privatization of the utility companies and why the IMF is so insistent that Costa Rica sell its interest in ICE.