Energy Diversification a Priority of the Gov’t – Shaw

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw (right), shakes hands with Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) Director General, Ansord Hewitt, during Thursday’s (October 5) session of the three-day Natural Gas Conference, jointly hosted by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and the OUR, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. Looking on (from left) are PCJ Chairman, Russell Hadeed; and Chairman of the OUR, Joseph Matalon.

Story Highlights

  • Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says energy diversification, with increased use of renewable solutions, is a strategic priority of the Government in order to achieve sustainable economic growth.
  • The country’s National Energy Policy of 2009-2030 speaks to Jamaica having a secured, diversified and sufficient supply of energy, which will, in turn, support long-term economic and social development as well as environmental sustainability.
  • It seeks to foster greater understanding of the implications of the introduction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Jamaican marketplace, with particular emphasis on the anticipated economic impact, commercial opportunities, governance and regulation.

Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says energy diversification, with increased use of renewable solutions, is a strategic priority of the Government in order to achieve sustainable economic growth.

The country’s National Energy Policy of 2009-2030 speaks to Jamaica having a secured, diversified and sufficient supply of energy, which will, in turn, support long-term economic and social development as well as environmental sustainability.

“Our energy-sector plan focuses on the creation of a sector that provides affordable and accessible energy supplies with long-term energy security, contributes to international competitiveness through the productive sectors of the economy and improves the quality of life for citizens,” Mr. Shaw said.

He noted that the plans are “strategic, dynamic and adaptable to the ever-shifting scope of global energy demands”.

Mr. Shaw was speaking on the second day of the Natural Gas Conference held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on October 5.

The three-day conference, under the theme ‘New Horizons: The Development of a Natural Gas Sector in Jamaica – Prospects and Challenges’, is being jointly hosted by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) and the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ).

It seeks to foster greater understanding of the implications of the introduction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Jamaican marketplace, with particular emphasis on the anticipated economic impact, commercial opportunities, governance and regulation.

By June 2019, 45 per cent of the electricity supplied by the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) will come from cheaper, cleaner LNG.

By then, the power company’s Old Harbour and Jamalco plants will come on stream to join the Bogue facility in St. James, which received its first shipment of LNG in October 2016.

Mr. Shaw offered congratulations to the brewery, Red Stripe, which is set to become the first commercial entity in Jamaica to be powered by LNG.

He urged other companies to get on board and to also look at implementing renewable energy solutions.

Meanwhile, Minister Shaw expressed concern about the pricing policies in the petroleum trade, and said he will be writing to Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley; and Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda, asking them to look into the matter.

The Finance Minister said he had instructed the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) to conduct a study on the issue, and a report was produced.

“These things must be examined in a totally transparent manner to ensure that we are getting the best deal in this country and that we, as consumers or producers, are not being abused by any quarter,” he contended.

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