The government is close to finalizing a National Energy Policy that will outline strategies and options for the energy sector through the formulation of a comprehensive plan of action to guide the sector until 2015. The policy which was first announced by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson in his 2004 budget Presentation is in the final draft stage and will be tabled in Parliament upon completion.
Prime Minister P.J. Patterson made the disclosure on Thursday (Jan 26) during a courtesy call at Jamaica House by Mrs. Ruth Potopsingh, the newly appointed Group Managing Director for the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ). Responsibility for the development of the energy policy rests within the Office of the Prime Minister under the direction of a Special Envoy for Energy.
Prime Minister Patterson in his budget presentation in 2004 announced plans for the creation of a National Energy Policy and Strategy against the background of volatility in oil prices and the need for conservation as well as alternative and renewable sources of energy. He noted then that the country’s oil import bill had increased significantly during the past five years, moving from US313 Million in 1998 to US$813 Million in 2003.
The country’s oil import bill is now approximately US$1 Billion. An Energy efficiency unit has been established at the PCJ and the country is actively engaged in using renewable sources of energy including wind power and solar energy.
Mr. Patterson said also that the government of Trinidad and Tobago remained committed to supplying Jamaica with liquefied natural gas and that the details of agreement were still being finalized.
The Prime Minister congratulated Mrs. Potopsingh on her recent appointment and praised the PCJ for helping to carefully steer the energy sector through the difficulties faced by rising oil prices.