JIS News

Consistent with its strategy to diversify fuel types and produce electricity at a cheaper cost, the Government will be using petcoke to fuel a 100 mega watt (MW) plant at the Hunts Bay generating plant in Kingston.
“This project will retire an old and inefficient generating plant at Hunts Bay. I am pleased to announce that Government will own 40 per cent of this new plant and will be signing a joint venture agreement with the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) in a few days,” Minister of Energy, Clive Mullings said.
The Minister made this disclosure during his contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday (July 1).
Petcoke (petroleum coke) is a high-carbon, solid product made from the refining of crude oil. It is also used to making anodes used in chemical and metals processes and as a fuel in power stations, cement kilns and domestic heating.
Mr. Mullings also outlined coal as another viable option in reducing the country’s reliance on oil.
“Coal can be viably introduced with small scale units delivering 100-150 MW of electricity. This is suitable to the requirements of our power system and the retirement of old inefficient plants,” the Minister said.
He noted that global coal reserves are extensive and available in the region in North America, Columbia and Brazil, among other places. The Minister also informed that technology exist to make coal an environmentally safe fuel.
Mr. Mullings also stated that key players in the bauxite and alumina and power sectors have indicated their willingness to install coal plants.
“I am encouraging them to share in the cost of developing a single coal receiving facility, which would have the effect of lowering the price at which electricity can be supplied to the grid and for use in their own operations,” the Minister said.