The Government is encouraging companies, including small contractors, to bid on projects under the $2 billion public sector energy efficiency programme.
The programme, being jointly undertaken with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), seeks to improve energy efficiency in the public sector by replacing aged and inefficient equipment; retrofitting infrastructural deficiencies; and instilling behavioural change that promotes efficiency and conservation.
Making his 2013/14 Budget Debate presentation in Parliament on Wednesday, April 24, Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, said there is a 10 per cent advantage for Jamaican-owned companies.
“We want Jamaican companies bidding for and winning the contracts, not just so that we can get our people to work, but also so that we can build lasting human resource capacity,” he stated, noting that the programme is structured to accommodate and encourage participation by the Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (MSME) stakeholders.
Mr. Paulwell pointed to the “lucrative” business opportunities, which exist in providing services to lower the high cost of energy, particularly electricity.
Additionally, he said, there are prospects for banks and other financial institutions to provide financing for engineers, traders, and equipment suppliers.
“Already, this Government of Jamaica/Inter-American Development Bank project has provided employment and skills training for labourers in this emerging industry, and we project that as the programme expands, these numbers will continue to rise,” he said.
The Minister spoke under the theme: ‘Fuelling Own Growth’.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter