PCJ to Renew Search for Oil and Gas Locally


The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) will be renewing its search for oil and gas in Jamaica, both onshore and offshore, with attention placed on the New and Pedro Banks areas, on the island’s southern coast.
As contained in the institution’s annual report, which was tabled in the House of Representatives recently, other projects being considered include the establishment of a revolving energy fund to provide wholesale loans for energy-efficiency improvements at low rates of interests; expanding the Wigton Windfarm in Manchester by a further eight to10 megawatts; and developing another 50 to 60 megawatts of wind generation at two other sites in Jamaica, yet to be identified.
Also planned, is the development of a 1.2-megawatt hydropower project at Laughlands Great River in St. Ann, in addition to assessing the feasibility of developing a large-scale hydropower project of approximately 48 megawatts, on the Rio Grande in Portland.
Efforts will also be concentrated on promoting the wider use of solar water heaters by installing approximately 4,000 new units per year, as well as to increase the use of biomass to produce energy. “Biomas comes from a variety of sources, including agricultural, forestry, and food processing byproducts, fuel wood trees as well as gas emitted from landfills,” the report stated.
Also part of the PCJ’s plans, is developing the potential for ethanol use, not only for export, but also for the domestic market. Ethanol blended with gasoline, reduces air pollution and improves vehicle performance, the report indicated.
The introduction of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), initially to provide cooling systems for hotels in the Montego Bay area to reduce the air conditioning load, is another of the potential projects for future implementation. “It is possible that ultimately, this technology may be used to provide commercial electricity,” the report stated.
There is also the intention to introduce renewable technology for carbon credit trading. As explained in the report, carbon credit trading is a marketing tool, which allows developing countries to purchase carbon credits from developed countries, and is an accepted policy instrument in the global effort to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

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