JIS News

With the consumption of ethanol globally expected to increase significantly over the next few years, Energy Minister, Clive Mullings, is upbeat about Jamaica’s ability to export competitively to the international market.
Speaking at the opening of a two-day bio-fuels policy workshop today (Dec. 15), at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, Mr. Mullings noted that the global bio-ethanol market is poised to grow rapidly, with the demand expected to be approximately 101 billion litres by 2010, and supply about 81 billion litres. He said Jamaica stands ready to meet some of that demand.
“Jamaica already has the capability and expertise to produce ethanol that meets world standards. In fact, Jamaica is one of the largest exporters of ethanol to the United States outside of Brazil,” the Minister informed. Up to 2007, Jamaica exported upwards of 66 million gallons of ethanol to the United States, the world’s largest ethanol market.
Noting that Jamaica has been invited to enter tri-lateral discussions on the development of bio-energy with Brazil and the United States, Mr. Mullings said this is in recognition of the country’s advancements in bio-fuels and the ability for further growth. He added that the arrangement will present an opportunity for Jamaica to be on the cutting edge of development, thereby building the economy, and driving employment.
The thrust in the development of the local bio-fuel sector is expected to be underpinned through the Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy, based at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ).
The centre evolved out of dialogue, which commenced in 2005, involving the Ministry, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and the German Agency for Technical Cooperation. A report on the country’s potential for renewable energy was published with a view to identifying national development opportunities.
“We recognised that, if we are serious about the development of renewable energies, we needed to have institutional focus. This position was captured in the Energy Policy, and it became a reality when we established (the) centre. in November 2006. We (also) looked at a need, to provide support for. CARICOM. We intend to diversify the energy base, and encourage the development of indigenous energy sources where this is economically viable and technically feasible,” Mr. Mullings said.
The workshop, which is being attended by stakeholders from the Caribbean and Latin America, is organised jointly by the Ministry, the PCJ and ECLAC under the theme: ‘Formulating Public Policies for Bio-fuels.’
It aims to introduce the Goals-oriented Project Planning (GOPP) methodology for public policy development and will feature discussions and presentations on the bio-fuels scenario and challenges in Jamaica; the role of ECLAC in strengthening cooperation on bio-fuel development; the main and common obstacles in formulating policy; as well as provide perspectives on bio-fuels in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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