Jamaica Gleaner

JPS moves closer to cheaper elec­tric­ity

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THE JA­MAICA Public Ser­vice Com­pany (JPS) has signed an agree­ment for the long-awaited sup­ply of gas to the is­land.

The com­pany has an­nounced that it has signed a deal with the United States (US)-based New Fortress Energy for the sup­ply of gas to Ja­maica, af­ter re­ceiv­ing ap­provals from the Gov­ern­ment and the Of­fice of Util­i­ties Reg­u­la­tion (OUR).

Un­der the agree­ment, New Fortress Energy will pro­vide the JPS with liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas (LNG) for its 120-megawatt power plant in Bogue, St James.

The plant, which was first com­mis­sioned into ser­vice in 2003, is be­ing con­verted to run on gas in­stead of the more ex­pen­sive automotive diesel oil.

“This is a his­toric mo­ment for JPS and for Ja­maica,” said Kelly Tomblin, pres­i­dent and CEO of the JPS.

“JPS has worked since 2012 to pro­cure gas as part our fuel diver­si­fi­ca­tion strat­egy. We are for­tu­nate that we can now take ad­van­tage of tech­nol­ogy re­lated to gas ship­ments and sup­port­ive US poli­cies that al­low the ex­port of gas to non-FTA coun­tries.

“Just t oday (Fri­day), Fortress re­ceived its per­mit from the US Gov­ern­ment to ex­port gas to Ja­maica. JPS is hon­oured to be lead­ing this game-changer for the energy sec­tor,” said Tomblin.

SUP­PORT NA­TIONAL GOALS

The JPS CEO said the in­tro­duc­tion of gas will sup­port the na­tional goals of energy se­cu­rity, sus­tain­abil­ity and af­ford­abil­ity.

“The move to cleaner fu­els and more flex­i­ble gen­er­a­tion will re­duce our en­vi­ron­men­tal foot­print by al­low­ing Ja­maica to op­ti­mise our use of re­new­ables while we si­mul­ta­ne­ously re­duce emis­sions from our baseload gen­er­a­tion,” said Tomblin.

Ac­cord­ing to Tomblin, the JPS has been work­ing closely with the Elec­tric­ity Sec­tor En­ter­prise Team, which was set up by the Gov­ern­ment to over­see the up­grade and ex­pan­sion of Ja­maica’s energy sec­tor.

The sign­ing of the gas sup­ply agree­ment has set the stage for work to be­gin on the in­fra­struc­ture needed for the de­liv­ery of gas to Bogue by early 2016.

Wes Edens, founder and co-chair­man of the board of Fortress In­vest­ment Group, de­clared New Fortress Energy’s com­mit­ment to in­vest­ing and cre­at­ing value i n Ja­maica.

“This agree­ment opens the door to a new era of energy di­ver­sity and in­de­pen­dence for Ja­maica and its cit­i­zens, en­abling the re­gion to ben­e­fit from cost-ef­fec­tive, sta­ble sup­plies of US nat­u­ral gas.

“Our vi­sion ex­tends far be­yond Bogue. This will be the cat­a­lyst to es­tab­lish Ja­maica as an energy hub for the Caribbean and Latin Amer­ica. Ja­maica is the ideal lo­ca­tion to ex­e­cute on this vi­sion, and we in­tend to in­vest sig­nif­i­cantly in energy, port and lo­gis­tics in­fra­struc­ture on the is­land. Change takes vi­sion and we ap­plaud JPS, its lead­er­ship, and the Gov­ern­ment of Ja­maica for work­ing tire­lessly to­wards this mo­ment.”

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TOMBLIN

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