Connect Saint Helena Ltd, a newly formed private company, will take over the provision of electricity, water and drainage services from 1 April 2013.
Barry Hubbard, currently SHG’s Head of Energy, has been confirmed as CEO of the company. Two other directors have also been confirmed: Martin Squibbs, currently SHG’s Head of Water and Drainage, will be the Operations Director of Connect Saint Helena Ltd, and Dax Richards, SHG’s Assistant Financial Secretary, is a government appointed director. Martin Squibbs said, “two further directors will be appointed soon as the company now implements its business plan.” Martin confirmed, “this has been a long time coming and there’s lots of work to be done now that EXCO have given their approval this morning.”
The following press release on the Divestment of Utilities was issued by SHG on Tuesday.
At a special meeting of ExCo today (4 December 2012), Council agreed final plans for the Divestment of Energy and Water utilities on St Helena.
As a result, from 1 April 2013, St Helena Government will no longer deal directly with the provision of utility services - namely electricity, water and drainage. As long planned, the provision of these essential services will be divested to a company - called ‘Connect Saint Helena Ltd.’ - which will initially be wholly owned by SHG. The company will consist of the assets and staff of the Energy and Water Divisions of SHG, in the form of a self contained business unit. Many of the building blocks are already in place and now that formal approval has been given by Executive Council, work is taking place to ensure that the divestment will happen as smoothly as possible. In terms of front line service delivery, the transition should be seamless because it will be the same people doing the same jobs.
SHG is implementing its divestment strategy in order to reduce its footprint, and to grow the private sector. The Island needs to grow its economy and this move will generate economic benefits for all on St Helena.
Divestment of utilities will also allow SHG to reduce its overall staffing needs and focus its limited resources on core Government business. SHG will ensure that transitioning staff are kept fully informed and that their move to the new company is as smooth as possible. A commitment has been given to all staff that they will be no worse off as a result of the divestment. There will be also be opportunities in Connect Saint Helena Ltd for a new administrative team, where efficiency and customer service will be key attributes.
In addition, a divested company operating outside the constraints of Government, will be more efficient and productive, reducing operating costs and improving its services. The activities of Connect Saint Helena Ltd will be regulated to protect the consumer in terms of service quality and prices.
Further details will be announced in due course.
SHG, 4 December 2012