MONTSERRAT UTILITIES LIMITED
ENERGY David Thomson, Managing Director of Montserrat Utilities Limited, speaks to Sustainable Business Magazine about growing from natural disaster to natural generation.
Montserrat Utilities Limited (MUL) is the sole provider of water and electricity to Montserrat, a British Overseas Territory located in the Caribbean. MUL formed in 2008 following the merger of two government entities: Montserrat Electricity Services Limited (Monlec) and Montserrat Water Authority (MWA), both of which continue operations under a parastatal umbrella. The restructuring of Montserrat’s utility services came about following two major blows to life on the island. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo swept through the Caribbean and devastated Montserrat, damaging most of the buildings and much of the infrastructure. Six years later in July 1995, the island’s 46 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Soufrière Hills volcanic eruptions started and the capital city of Plymouth was abandoned and destroyed in 1997, leaving half of the island uninhabitable. A move to redesign the utilities’ operational infrastructure began in 1998 and by 2005 had set out its principles for merger. In 2008, MUL was created as a private umbrella company that had 100% of its shares owned by the Montserrat Government. Today, rebuilding the island means providing water and electricity to 5000 residents and, given the high cost and lack of independence of oil, sustainable generation options have become the focal point for Montserrat’s future.