JAMAICA-ENERGY-Jamaica welcomes multi-million n dollar energy project

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Dec 2, CMC – Jamaica has described as a ‘win-win” partnership the billion dollar investment in the energy sector by the US-based New Fortress Energy and Jamalco, a joint venture between Noble Group and Clarendon Alumina Production (CAP) with a focus on bauxite mining and alumina production.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness speaking at the ground breaking ceremony on Friday said that the major components of the project would include a floating storage and regasification terminal in the Portland Bight Protected Area, the installation of a pipeline from the Rocky Point port to the Jamalco refinery, as well as the construction of the natural gas-fired power station at the Jamalco location and construction of an electricity distribution network to deliver power to the national grid.
Chairman of New Fortress Energy, Wesley Edens (left) and Prime Minister Andrew Holness
“This development signifies the power of win-win partnerships with the benefits for Jamalco, including reduced cost, as well as increased reliability and efficiency,” Holness said.
At least 400 people are expected to be employed during the construction phase of the US$265 million project that is expected to be completed during the first quarter of next year.
Holness said that the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) is also expected to benefit through the power-purchase agreement, yet to be negotiated.
Founder and chairman of New Fortress Energy, Wesley Edens, said approximately two-thirds of the electricity created would be sold to the grid, with the remaining third being sold in steam at a very low cost, which translates to the plant being “very, very competitive.
“The more competitive it is, the bigger it can get, the more people it can hire. This will move this plant into the top 25 percentile in the world in terms of its dispatch order,” Eden said, praising Jamaica for the advancements made so far in the diversification of its energy sector.
“Two years ago virtually a hundred (per cent) of the energy in Jamaica was generated by oil, and two years from now virtually a hundred per cent of it will be natural gas or renewables…
“The country has been upgraded [in] its credit rating by Moody’s, citing specifically the energy footprint. Energy costs [are] 30 per cent lower and the environment is much cleaner, so with this I think Jamaica is a model not only for the Caribbean but throughout the world. It’s remarkable what has been accomplished here,” he said.
Prime Minister Holness said numerous investment projects are slated to begin while others are under way, such as highway and hotel projects, information technology projects, and business process outsourcing projects.
But he expressed concern that the island’s culture of bureaucracy remains an issue.
“What we lack is a sense of urgency to get things done. It is almost a cultural thing. We have to get more business-oriented, we stand too much on ceremony,” Holness said.

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