MANDEVILLE – The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) proposed Maggotty hydroelectric power plant in St. Elizabeth is projected to employ some 200 persons during the construction phase, according to the company’s President, Damian Obiglio.
Mr. Obiglio who addressed a community meeting held at Maggotty High School, in the parish on March 24, outlined that the 6.3 megawatt plant to be constructed at a cost of US$26 million, will employ between 150 to 200 workers over two years, commencing in early 2012.
“We have a policy at the JPS, that we employ as much as we can from the people from the community, where we are working,” he told the large gathering.
He highlighted that hydroelectric plants are more expensive to construct, but the company had avoided certain costs associated with conventional resources from importing oil and other fuels. “In the long-term, it produces the cleanest and cheapest electricity,” Mr. Obiglio stated.
Meanwhile, President of the Maggotty Benevolent Development Community, Jonathan Brooks, said the communities are pleased with the possible economic spinoff that will come from the investment, and that workers on the project should avoid any form of conflict that can lead to work stoppage.
“There are many ways to solve a problem, if you have a problem with the contractor, have a meeting and resolve it in the meeting. When you have a problem you don’t attack the person, you attack the problem and then you solve the problem,” Mr. Brooks said.
The new hydroelectric power plant will see the doubling of the power output, now being generated from the current plant, from the use of the Black River. This will include the installment of two turbine generator units in the new powerhouse to maximise water flows, during wet and dry seasons. The community meeting was held to present an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report to the residents.
By GARFIELD L. ANGUS