JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government will continue to work with investors in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, to find creative ways to address operational costs, especially in the area of energy.
  • Dr. Phillips said the issuing of licences for 115 megawatts of renewable energy by the Government, forms part of the plan to assist the sector.
  • The Government remains on track for the expansion of the base load generating capacity for the country, which should result in a reduction of energy cost.

Finance Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says the Government will continue to work with investors in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, to find creative ways to address operational costs, especially in the area of energy.

In an interview with JIS News after he toured the soon-to-be-opened Barnett Tech Park in Montego Bay, on August 4, Dr. Phillips said the issuing of licences for 115 megawatts of renewable energy by the Government, forms part of the plan to assist the sector.

“Some of those are coming on stream and should help to reduce the cost,” Dr. Phillips said.

The Finance Minister pointed out that despite challenges, the Government remains on track for the expansion of the base load generating capacity for the country, which should result in a reduction of energy cost.

“A lot of private sector operations will benefit from the new electricity Act, which Minister (Phillip) Paulwell is going to be bringing soon to the Parliament, which will involve players in all sectors of the country,” he said.

Citing some of the industries that stand to benefit, the Finance Minister said in the sugar industry there is close to 100 megawatts of additional energy that is being used by the sector,  “but which can also be sold  to the grid, and in the bauxite alumina industry, there is perhaps another 140 megawatts.”

Dr. Phillips said the operational challenges faced by investors will be solved, but as most things, it will take some time.

“We are not going to solve all the problems in two weeks or even two years, but I think that gradually, what we are seeing is that there  is a response globally and domestically among the more imaginative and enterprising  investors (foreign and local)  to the economic  changes that Jamaica is undertaking. Ultimately, the solution is to get more investments going in the ground and to have more people employed,” the Minister said.