JIS News

The Ministry of Energy is looking to expand the biofuels market, in light of the higher than projected demand for E10 fuel.
Portfolio Minister Clive Mullings, speaking at the opening of a two-day biofuels policy workshop in Kingston yesterday (Dec. 15), said that the Ministry is moving to introduce a higher mix of gasolene “in the very near future.”
“We intend to have at least some Petcom stations providing up to E85, as soon as we get the rolling stock to take that product. So we propose to do that in the coming year,” he said.

Energy Minister, Clive Mullings (left), converses with Head of the Sustainable Development Unit at the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) office in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Dr. Charmaine Gomes, during a biofuels policy workshop, jointly staged by the Energy Ministry, the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, and ECLAC, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston today (Dec. 15).

The Minister recently informed that the demand for the E10 ethanol blended gasolene had spiralled past the projected 3,000 barrels, to 8,000 barrels per week.
The market’s overwhelming response to the fuel, he said “is forcing us to rethink our earlier decision for a national roll-out in April 2009.” He explained that the phased roll-out, with only service stations mid-island and in eastern parishes retailing the fuel, was to facilitate completion of a storage tank facility in Montego Bay, which will supply the western-end of the island.

Energy Minister, Clive Mullings (left), makes a point to Moderator of Goals-oriented Project Planning (GOPP), Carolina de la Lastra; and Senior Policy Officer for the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Energy Unit, Leighton Waterman, during a biofuels policy workshop, jointly staged by the Energy Ministry, the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston today (Dec. 15).

“What we have learnt is that gas stations, which are certified, are hauling the product from Kingston to Montego Bay and Negril; such is the demand for E10. It means that we have had a buy-in from the public, not only because it is favourably priced, but also (because), people believe (in).. the need for energy security,” the Minister stated.
In the meantime, he indicated that a danger to biofuel development is the assumption of a “mantra approach” without examining the “numbers and bottom line.”
“If you don’t do that, then it (bio-fuel) will not be competitive. People will always go back to fossil fuels and gasolene. But once you get your costs down and improve your yields, then you will have that buy-in,” he pointed out.
To this end, the Minister stressed the need to examine activities within the large sectors of the economy, citing the transportation as one, which he said “consumes a lot.”
“If you are going to have a way out (of fossil fuel dependency), if you are going to diversify, we will have to look at the big ticket items. It cannot be incremental, it cannot be a case of sampling. You have to be able to convert your rolling stock as quickly as possible, and bio-fuels development is one critical aspect of this,” Mr. Mullings added.
The workshop, which is being attended by stakeholders from the Caribbean and Latin America, is being jointly hosted by the Ministry, the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) under the theme: ‘Formulating Public Policies for Biofuels’.
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 co-operation 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.