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Story Highlights

  • The Electricity Sector Enterprise Team (ESET) is reporting that they are “fairly satisfied” with the progress being made to procure additional electricity generating capacity for Jamaica’s power grid.
  • This additional electricity, which will be realised through the implementation of several energy projects, will enable Jamaicans to see a drop of at least 30 per cent in fuel costs by 2018, resulting in savings on energy of US$350 million.
  • The ESET provided an update in its report on Jamaica’s baseload capacity, at a media briefing, held at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), on Tuesday, June 23.

The Electricity Sector Enterprise Team (ESET) is reporting that they are “fairly satisfied” with the progress being made to procure additional electricity generating capacity for Jamaica’s power grid.

This additional electricity, which will be realised through the implementation of several energy projects, will enable Jamaicans to see a drop of at least 30 per cent in fuel costs by 2018, resulting in savings on energy of US$350 million.

The ESET provided an update in its report on Jamaica’s baseload capacity, at a media briefing, held  at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), on Tuesday, June 23.

The four proposals being analysed for potential generators of electricity to the national grid are: the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) converting the feedstock at the Bogue, St. James power plant from automotive diesel oil (ADO) to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG); the building of a 190- megawatt power plant and gas terminal at Old Harbour by the Jamaica Public Service; the building of a 140-megawatt cogeneration power plant by Alpart, and the building of a 50-megwatt coal fired cogeneration power plant by Jamalco.

Outlining details, Chairman of  ESET, Dr. Vincent Lawrence, said while there has been a setback regarding the Alpart cogeneration power plant facility in Nain, St. Elizabeth, Jamaicans would still benefit from cheaper electricity prices by 2018, as the other projects being pursued for new base load generating plants “are on target.”

He said that since UC Rusal had not concluded their contractual and commercial arrangements with the power developer, American Ethane Company, “we are going to defer their arrangements pending any further developments, because we are committed to meeting our schedule…but this does not affect our schedule in what we are doing.”

Dr. Lawrence said conversion of the Bogue power plant in St. James would generate more electricity than was envisioned, as a result of this change, adding that the project is scheduled to meet the targeted completion date of the first quarter of 2016.

He pointed out that the reconfiguration process is on track, and that once the contract is signed, it will take 26 weeks for the reconfiguration to be completed.

Dr. Lawrence further disclosed that through a competitive bidding process, JPS has selected New Fortress Energy of the Fortress Investment Group, USA, as its fuel suppliers. He said Fortress Energy will make weekly shipments using ISO containers, store and re-gasify the LNG and supply the Bogue power plant via pipeline.

With regard to the building of the 190-megawatt power plant and gas terminal at Old Harbour by the PS, he said the project is on target to meet the scheduled completion date of the fourth quarter of 2017. He informed that at least 12 entities have indicated their interest in participating in the project.

As it relates to the building of the  50-megawatt cogeneration power plant by Jamalco, which will be located in Clarendon, Dr. Lawrence said the project, which is to be implemented within the second quarter of 2018, “is still within the timeframe.”

“Cabinet gave us permission yesterday (June 22), to proceed with these discussions and negotiations with Jamalco. We have in hand their financial models, their design proposals (among other things),” he said.

“We are fairly satisfied as a team with the progress that we have made to date… the battle is not fully won as yet (as) we have significant tasks to be completed…We are  getting things done as we had committed to get them done,” Dr. Lawrence said.

The six-member ESET team was established by Cabinet on June 2, 2014 and mandated to lead and manage several critical initiatives related to the replacement of base load generating capacity and the review of sector related policy legislation.

The overall purpose of the team is to lead and manage a procurement process for the development of additional base load generation capacity and related facilities in the short term, in order to significantly reduce the cost of electricity to consumers while ensuring diversification in the fuel supply mix.