JIS News

Minister of Energy, Clive Mullings, has said that while the development of a viable local bio-fuels industry would have its challenges, he was confident that the recently established Bio-fuels Task Force would be able to achieve such an objective.
He was speaking at yesterday’s (March 10) launch of the Task Force at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) building in Kingston.
“I have every confidence in the team that has been selected to participate in this Task Force, and in your commitment to recommending an appropriate framework that will allow us to develop a practical and sustainable bio-fuels industry. I am of view that all the experience and technical skills required is represented on this task force,” he stated, adding that he expected some component of biodiesel (B5) to materialize within a year.
The body will have responsibility for creating an appropriate policy framework and a legal and regulatory regime, within which a bio-fuels industry will flourish. It will take into consideration, incentive schemes, affordable project/programme financing, research and development support, as well as local technical capability and demand for new products.
Chaired by PCJ board director, William Saunders, the Task Force is comprised of representatives from local, international and multilateral organisations, comprising the PCJ, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Scientific Research Council (SRC), Petrojam, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Organization of American States (OAS), World Bank, and the United States and Brazilian embassies.
Economic Officer at the United States Embassy, Nathan Carter, said that the mission was “very excited” about this initiative. “We think that this is a great opportunity for Jamaica and we are here to offer the services and assistance that we can…we know that Jamaica will do very well,” he stated.
Expressing a similar sentiment, Assistant Representative of the FAO, Dr. Gillian Smith, said that the organisation was “delighted” to be a part of the group, as energy security was important to Jamaica and developing countries in general.
“Coming from (the) launch of our Bio-fuels Challenges and Threats Report last year, we are very pleased that this is happening now.we are cognizant of the traditional relationship between energy generation and agriculture and from that point of view, we are committing a considerable amount of knowledge that exists in the FAO worldwide to this process, and we are really looking forward to seeing something come out of this very soon,” she pointed out.
OAS representative, Dr. Joan Neil, in her remarks, stated that “through our unit for sustainable development and energy, our task force will have access to a wealth of knowledge and expertise. We feel very certain that with the level of experience here and the technical know-how, we are bound for success”.
In addition to the support of these organisations, Jamaica stands to benefit from the new processes and technologies that will emerge from the research and development programmes of Brazil and the United States, as a result of a tri-lateral agreement on bio-fuels that was signed in November of last year.
The Bio-fuels Task Force is a project of the Ministries of Energy, and Agriculture.

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