Jamaica Ripe For Foreign Direct Investment

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining the Hon. Phillip Paulwell said the US$89 million 36.3 megawatt wind farm being developed at Potsdam, Malvern in St. Elizabeth is an indicator that Jamaica is ripe for direct foreign investment.
  • Addressing journalists, stakeholders and representatives from the developers, BMR Jamaica Wind Limited, at an official site visit on Friday, November 6, Mr. Paulwell said investor confidence in Jamaica is currently very high, and that the project is part of the Government’s drive to reduce reliance on imported fuel.
  • Mr. Paulwell said that even though the price of oil is coming down, the government is committed to the diversification of fuel sources, with the BMR project being an important step in that direction.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining the Hon. Phillip Paulwell said the US$89 million 36.3 megawatt wind farm being developed at Potsdam, Malvern in St. Elizabeth is an indicator that Jamaica is ripe for direct foreign investment.

Addressing journalists, stakeholders and representatives from the developers, BMR Jamaica Wind Limited, at an official site visit on Friday, November 6, Mr. Paulwell said investor confidence in Jamaica is currently very high, and that the project is part of the Government’s drive to reduce reliance on imported fuel.

Mr. Paulwell said that even though the price of oil is coming down, the government is committed to the diversification of fuel sources, with the BMR project being an important step in that direction.

“Jamaicans can today celebrate the fact that the price of oil is the lowest it has been in ten years, moving from 42 cents per kilowatt to 24 cents per kilowatt. Despite this, we are committed to use our God given resources…the sun, the wind and rivers, to continue to reduce our energy cost,” the Minister added.

The BMR Jamaica Wind Project was selected from among 28 proposals submitted in response to a solicitation for renewable energy projects conducted by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) in 2013.

Power from the project will be sold to the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPSCo), under a 20-year power purchase agreement. Electricity from the project will be among the lowest cost sources of power available on the JPS system, which is supplied predominantly from oil fueled power plants.

Mr. Paulwell also commended the BMR team for the road improvement work undertaken in the Malvern community and the fact that 680 Jamaicans were employed to the project.

“We are happy to learn that Jamaicans make up 85 per cent of the workforce and that most of the schools in the area have also benefitted. This is very good for Jamaica. It is always a good thing when a foreign company can come to Jamaica and be this receptive…can be this community oriented…and can make such a huge difference in people’s lives,” he stated.

Regional Director for BMR Jamaica, Ava Tomlin said the wind farm is the single largest privately funded renewable energy project in Jamaica, and is one of the largest that is happening in the Caribbean.

She said the Malvern community has been exceptionally supportive of what is taking place, and that BMR is grateful of the reception it has been receiving from all stakeholders, including the Jamaican Government.

“Direct local spending so far is over J$4.2billion and we are not done yet. We have not even started to factor in the indirect spending, that is usually associated with a project of this level,” Ms. Tomlin stated.

She added that the project is important to Jamaica in terms of foreign exchange savings and forms part of the Government’s overall plan to have a 20 per cent renewable energy mix by 2030.

“This is significant in terms of foreign exchange, cheaper energy, lack of pollution, reduction in the number of barrels of oil…very significant for Jamaica in that regard,” she stated.

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