Govt. Committed to Reducing Imported Crude Oil – Mullings


Minister of Energy, Clive Mullings has emphasised that the Ministry is committed to reducing the volume of imported crude oil.
“We are committed to implementing energy efficiency and indigenous energy projects from renewable sources to break our [Jamaica’s] dependency on imported crude,” the Minister assured.
Mr. Mullings was speaking at the launch of the Petcoke Cogeneration Power Project, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on July 22.
The project, which aims to produce and utilize petroleum coke (petcoke), a low cost fuel to generate electricity, is a collaborative venture involving the Ministry of Energy, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), PetroJam Limited and its parent company, the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica.
“This is a historic moment and I am very pleased that we are launching a project that marks the start of our revolutionizing the local energy sector,” Mr. Mullings said.
The Minister pointed out that the project would signify the start of long term energy solutions for greater efficiency in the electricity sector. “It will ensure a guaranteed supply of fuel from a local source, provide sustained cost reductions and as for environmental issues, it is cleaner than HFO,” he added.
He noted that with the incorporation of the appropriate emission reduction and combustion technologies to be employed in the plant, the environmental risks would be minimized.
The project, a proposed 100-120 Mega Watts (MW) cogenerating plant, will be implemented through an upgraded PetroJam Refinery, which will feature a state-of-the-art refining facility, capable of producing petcoke, a by-product of the crude oil production process.
According to Managing Director at PetroJam, Winston Watson, who also spoke at the launch, petcoke “is currently the cheapest source of fuel for electricity generation worldwide.” Petrojam, he said, would start construction of the refining facility in 2009, for completion in 2012.
The petcoke from Petrojam will then be used as fuel in the generation of electricity at the new generating plant that the JPS will develop at its Hunts Bay location.
Mr. Watson also indicated that the upgraded Petrojam refinery would be able to process sulphur for the chemicals industry and vacuum gas oil for export.
In the meantime, JPS President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Damian Obiglio, informed the gathering that Petrojam would utilize approximately 20 MW of the power produced in its refinery as well as steam produced by JPS during the generation process.
“The rest of the power, approximately 80 – 100 MW will be sold to customers via the national grid,” he added. The benefits to be gained from this project are not limited to the JPS and PetroJam, but will impact directly on the Jamaican consumers.
“For our customers, the new plant will reduce the potential for power outages due to generation shortfall,” Mr. Obiglio said, adding that “the country will benefit significantly from the overall reduction in oil imports and customers also stand to benefit from the eventual reduction in fuel costs.”
“This is but one of a number of initiatives we are employing towards national energy security. There is more to come. Clean coal, natural gas and commercial quantities of oil from our current explorations are all initiatives that we will be reviewing in the very near future,” the Energy Minister pointed out.

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