JIS News

The Caribbean Single Market and Economy moved a step closer on Tuesday (Nov. 9) with the signing of a Heads of Agreement for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) between Prime Minister P.J. Patterson and Prime Minister Patrick Manning of Trinidad and Tobago. The signing took place in Port of Spain at the Tenth Special Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government.
The Memorandum of Understanding provides for the supply of approximately 1.1 million tonnes of LNG per annum by Trinidad to Jamaica at agreed prices for twenty years. A Joint Development Team has been established to among other things refine the technical and economic parameters of the project, which will include the construction of a re-gasification terminal in Jamaica. Mr. Patterson said the joint technical team conducting the feasible studies has revealed that the terminal could be economically viable under certain defined conditions.
The MOU also involves trade in the bauxite and aluminium sector and should fulfill Trinidad’s longstanding desire to participate in the industry. This intention was recently enhanced with the announcement by ALCOA of its decision to invest US$1 Billion in the construction of a smelting plant in Trinidad. Central to this investment is the combining of some of JAMALCO’s alumina production with Trinidad’s abundant energy resources.
Mr. Patterson described the signing of the agreement as a historic occasion not only for both countries but also for member countries of CARICOM. He said it was among the first steps towards meeting the objectives outlined by Heads of Government at Grand Anse, Grenada in 1989 for the deepening of integration efforts among CARICOM countries.
The Prime Minister observed that the MOU was a win-win situation for CARICOM as the investment in Trinidad by ALCOA and the US$800 Million expansion of the JAMALCO refinery represent a US$2 Billion injection in both countries that would undoubtedly impact the CSME in a profound way. Prime Minister Patterson said the importation of LNG would assist in meeting Jamaica’s energy policy objectives of diversifying its energy supply mix from a virtual dependence on petroleum. He said the agreement would also ensure security of supplies at stable and competitive prices, which should greatly enhance the competitiveness of Jamaican goods and services within the CSME and with third countries.
“It will also provide economic strength to a country which is the third largest market within the Caribbean Community for goods manufactured in Trinidad and Tobago,” Mr. Patterson said. “A stronger Jamaican economy is good not only for Jamaican manufacturers and service providers but for the rest of CARICOM as well and particularly Trinidad and Tobago,” he added.
He said the signing of the MOU was a tangible demonstration of the value of the CSME and therefore it should not be isolated from the many meaningful steps that have been taken to ensure its success.

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