Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, is urging individuals and companies to exploit investment opportunities in new and renewable energies.
He was speaking at a press briefing at the Jamaica Conference Centre downtown Kingston on May 2, immediately following the official launch of the Government of Jamaica/Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme.
The programme, which is being undertaken through US$20 million in loan from the IDB, is geared towards, among other things, retrofitting inefficient energy fixtures, and is expected to result in energy savings of $2.6 billion per year.
Inviting investors to submit project proposals now, Minister Paulwell said that with the “death of the monopoly of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) to produce energy from renewable sources” the door is now open for enterprising individuals and businesses to invest in the energy sector.
Potential projects include the manufacturing of devices and the use of new and emerging technologies to produce energy cost-effectively.
“I would urge any such prospective manufacturer to approach us quickly, because you know, we’re looking at the regime that exists for the importation of these equipment,” Minister Paulwell said.
"We certainly want to encourage their use, so we are looking at reducing the cost of importing, but certainly, if a company is established to produce these devices and equipment, then we will want to take into account how such enterprises can be protected especially during the initial period,” he stated.
The Energy Minister advised that potential manufacturers of energy saving and energy efficient devices can benefit from incentives such as those available under the Safeguard Act.
“We do have legislation such as the Safeguard Act that will allow a local enterprise to receive duty protection from imports, so they need to approach us quickly, because we intend to push for the greater use of renewable resources,” he stated.
By Allan Brooks, JIS Senior Reporter