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Funding for the next phase of the Rural Electrification Programme (REP) is currently being sought, to procure 160 kilometres (km) of line material to construct 65 km of distribution lines and to wire 1,230 houses islandwide.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Energy, Mining and Telecommunications, Clive Mullings, on February 12, during the sitting of the House of Representatives.
Mr. Mullings pointed out that currently, the REP is seeking to complete construction of 47 km of distribution lines and the wiring of some 850 houses.
He also informed that the financial arrangement with Venezuela for funding was still intact, adding that “submission of the project, which includes funding, was made to the Venezuela Development Bank for consideration.”
“There are ongoing discussions with Venezuela. The most recent information indicates that the project is being favourably considered. The Ministry is currently awaiting their final response,” Mr. Mullings said.
The next phase of the REP will begin in the financial year 2008/09.
The programme was set up to extend electricity to rural Jamaica as part of Government’s commitment to provide the entire Jamaica with access to electricity, stimulate economic and social activity in rural Jamaica, and provide a better quality of life in rural communities.
Under the programme, householders will continue to benefit from the revolving loan programme to cover the cost of wiring their premises. Under this scheme, the customer will pay only 10 per cent of the cost of wiring with the remainder to be provided through an interest free loan, which will be repayable over four years.