The the Economy Declines, Energy Prices Increase and the Arubans get Restless


From Amigoe, July 31, 2006: More and more aggression against Elmar personnel   A drastic cut in the economy due to a dramatic loss in tourism, coupled with an increase in energy prices is a bleak scenario at best.

Elmar does understand that a certain group of consumers have a hard time paying the high electricity bills, which have almost quadrupled in the past two to three years.

Full story from Amigoe:

ARUBA – Elmar is constantly receiving lots of complaints due to the high electricity bills.  According to director Freddy Rafinà ©, not only do they receive complaints, but also the employees of Elmar are being verbally abused.  Yelling and cussing have become business as usual.   

He therefore wants to emphasize via a press report that insulting the personnel does not lead to the correct solution.  “These people are doing their job.  The power supply gets disconnected when the person has not paid his/her power bill for more than month-and-a-half after the due date.”  Rafinà © hopes that the press report will stop the verbal aggression that the field employees and telephone operators are coping with.  “A woman, whose power supply was disconnected, kept calling one of the field employees till after midnight.  She kept calling and cussing at him, because she was of the opinion that she couldn’t sleep due to the power supply disconnection, so she didn’t allow him to sleep either.” 

The trouble shooting service is still active after closing hours, but only for emergencies.  “The employees of this department will help customers that have a problem, but definitely not customers that do not pay and want to be reconnected”, emphasized Rafinà ©. 

Elmar does understand that a certain group of consumers have a hard time paying the high electricity bills, which have almost quadrupled in the past two to three years.  Rafinà © says that Elmar has more than once explained the factors that caused this, like the drastic increase of the oil price on the world market that jacked up the electricity price in Aruba.  The entire world is coping with the effects of the increased oil prices.  

Rafinà © emphasized that the company has to enforce the rules for paying bills.  Consumers get plenty of time to comply with their obligations.  He says that people have to become more conscious of their electricity consumption.  “Especially the ones that do not have much money need to check better on how they use electricity and how they can save on energy.” 

Valero announces refinery maintenance schedule

Valero Energy Corp. has planned turnaround and maintenance activities at several of its refineries for the remainder of 2006.

Beginning last month, the No. 1 coker at the Aruba refinery with a capacity of 33,000 barrels per day (bpd) has been shut down for approximately 46 days. Also at the Aruba facility, the No. 7 crude unit, with a 110,000 bpd capacity, is down for 28 days and the gas oil hydrotreater, with a 58,000 bpd capacity, will remain down for 35 days.

(AP via Yahoo News)


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