JIS News

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  • Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says Jamaica’s energy sector is poised for major transformation, which will enable it to contribute significantly to economic growth.
  • The Minister was speaking at Wednesday’s (July 15) commissioning ceremony for a newly installed air conditioning system at the maternity ward of the Spanish Town Hospital in St. Catherine.
  • Among the projects Mr. Paulwell outlined are: phase three of the Wigton Wind Farm project in Manchester, being undertaken at a cost of US$50 million; a US$90 million wind energy project to be implemented by American firm, BMR Energy, and a US$36 million hydropower plant, both in St. Elizabeth; and a US$60 million solar energy plant slated for Clarendon.

Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says Jamaica’s energy sector is poised for major transformation, which will enable it to contribute significantly to economic growth.

This, he says, is based on the Government’s implementation of several renewable energy projects, valued approximately US$236 million, among other things.

The Minister was speaking at Wednesday’s (July 15) commissioning ceremony for a newly installed air conditioning system at the maternity ward of the Spanish Town Hospital in St. Catherine.

Among the projects Mr. Paulwell outlined are: phase three of the Wigton Wind Farm project in Manchester, being undertaken at a cost of US$50 million; a US$90 million wind energy project to be implemented by American firm, BMR Energy, and a US$36 million hydropower plant, both in St. Elizabeth; and a US$60 million solar energy plant slated for Clarendon.

Additionally, Mr. Paulwell cited the proposed upgrading of the Bogue power plant in St. James, to facilitate fuelling of its operations using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) instead of diesel.

The Minister also noted Parliament’s recent passage of the Electricity Act which, he indicated, replaces previous legislation “that has been in place for 125 years.”

“It is quite significant because it sets the regulatory framework that allows for greater certainty, and enables us to cast the (energy) policy in a legal mechanism that will ensure benefits flowing to all of us for the future,” he added.

In noting that the sector’s transformation has commenced, Mr. Paulwell said the administration is now “seeing a clearer pathway to the various solutions that have to come (on steam) to enable us to have a much more sustainable future in energy.”

He underscored the need for persons and entities to maintain energy conservation as a central focus.

 

“Already, we find that there is growing interest in the use of energy saving and energy-efficient devices. This enthusiasm is gathering momentum, especially in the wake of the significant cost reduction…resulting from the Government’s removal of taxation on energy-efficient devices, while encouraging the use of renewable energy,” he stated.

Mr. Paulwell also highlighted the Government’s conservation project, being implemented in state entities, the first phase of which costs US$20 million.

The programme, which is projected to yield upwards of $3 billion in savings, also involves a public education programme in best practices for energy efficiency, as well as steps to enact behavioural changes.

The new energy-efficient air conditioning system was installed at the Spanish Town Hospital by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), at a cost of $8.4 million.

The system comprises two state-of-the-art units that have replaced the inefficient system serving the maternity unit’s operating theatre and labour ward.

It is projected to reduce the hospital’s air conditioning consumption level by approximately 50 per cent and the overall electricity bill by 43 per cent, to yield $1.6 million in total annual savings.