Petrojam’s Upgrading Going Ahead, Despite Constraints


Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, has said that while the upgrading of the Petrojam refinery is proving costly, it is critical to improving the country’s capacity to meet domestic requirements for refined petroleum products.
Mr. Golding, who was making his contribution to the 2010/11 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives Tuesday (April 20), said that the “capital costs” would amount to some US$663 million that could not be accommodated within the medium-term liability programme. But, the project is one that must be pursued.
“It will not only give us the capacity to fully meet our domestic requirements for refined products, but would also enable us to earn foreign exchange from the export of finished products and, in addition, further diversify our energy sources through the introduction of pet coke,” he stated.
He said that it was also a flagship of Jamaica’s economic co-operation with Venezuela. The Government has reached an agreement with Venezuela for a transfer of two per cent of shares, which will now make Venezuela the majority owner and allow the joint venture to secure financing for the project without a government guarantee.
“The front-end engineering designs were completed in July last year, the value engineering exercise should be completed by September, financing has already been identified and we are getting closer to the start-up of the project,” he said.
Mr. Golding also indicated that the China-funded major road rehabilitation project, valued at US$400 million, is to start towards the end of the year.
“We are just completing the dualization of the Bogue Road in Montego Bay. Work is in progress on the dualization of Washington Boulevard between Molynes Road and Dunrobin Avenue. The new Palisadoes road, which will ensure that the airport is not cut off by tidal flooding, is to start later this year,” he said.

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