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Government is to begin talks for the establishment of a floating storage and re-gasification unit, which will form the centrepiece of the Government’s planned energy diversification programme, which involves the use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson, in a statement to the House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 15), said Cabinet has given approval for negotiations to commence with EXMAR Consortium for the project.
Mr. Robertson noted that the negotiations form a turning point in the administration’s efforts to introduce cheaper sources of energy, which will enable Jamaica to be more globally competitive.
“The proposal provides for the establishment and operation of a floating LNG re-gasification terminal to be financed by the developer. It will be entirely a private sector project with no investment or guarantee required of the Government of Jamaica,” he informed, noting that the negotiations are expected to be completed before the end of this calendar year.
He said that on the successful completion of the facilities, the re-gasification vessels will be used for the importation and re-gasification of LNG for delivery through associated pipelines to off-takers.
If the negotiations and build-out proceed according to schedule, it is expected that Jamaica will start using cheaper and cleaner LNG by 2013.
“This is a major development toward improving our energy efficiency, reducing our cost by production and our cost of living. It is consistent with the National Energy Policy and is a major component of Vision 2030,” Mr. Robertson stated.
Floating terminals are a relatively new and advanced technology with nine such facilities in operation in six countries namely; United States of America, United Kingdom, Brazil, Argentina, Kuwait and Dubai.
EXMAR is an international company based in Belgium, with more than 20 years experience in handling LNG. It was chosen through a competitive bidding process following a formal request for proposals issued in November 2009 and a comprehensive evaluation of the proposals submitted.