JIS News

Minister of Energy, Clive Mullings, has underscored the importance of project planning, implementation and management, noting that these principles were critical to the successful introduction and recent roll-out of the E10 project, which will provide more environmentally friendly fuel for the transport sector.
The E10 fuel, a blend of 10 per cent ethanol from sugar cane and 90 per cent 87 octane gasoline, was officially launched on November 1 at the Petcom Portmore service station.
“When you start off with a project, expect anything to go wrong, and so you will have your contingencies in place. Government was able to deliver on time and out-market the marketing companies. I must commend the (E10) team that when faced with challenges, did not wilt, but took responsibility. Project implementation in Jamaica is something that we have to improve upon,” he stated.
He was speaking at a management development symposium hosted by the Project Management Institute (PMI) Jamaica Doctor Bird Chapter yesterday (Nov. 6), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston in observance of International Project Management Day 2008, under the theme ‘Project Management: Making It Work’.
Detailing the history of the project, the challenges that faced the project team and how these were overcome, Mr. Mullings said that since 1986, there had been various research into the feasibility of producing ethanol from sugar, and introducing it to the local energy mix, especially in the transportation sector.
However, he said there was a period of inactivity until 2005, when there was a pilot project, which saw some 70 vehicles being utilised with a blend to see what would be the response, and to collect data.
“That went very well, but the true test came about when we decided to introduce it. It’s not that you just come, put two blends together and then produce it – you have to get your regulatory framework intact; you have to ensure that the infrastructure is correct; you have to ensure that promotion is correct; you have to have buy-in from the various stakeholders. In June we decided we were going to do it. We pulled several people from various disciplines, from technical areas, legal areas, (and) young people in terms of engineering. We set a timeline..we put it out there, so credibility is now going to be assessed in terms of delivery time, and what you deliver. It was a very daunting task, but we had to remain focussed,” he outlined, noting that the project was in fact “delivered” at the end of October.
“We engaged everybody. gasoline retailers, haulage contractors, the marketing companies – but there was a latent reluctance because it was believed that Government doesn’t deliver and we were told that they have been hearing about ethanol coming and it has never happened,” he noted.
He said that to combat this resistance borne of past experiences, Petcom was mandated to do whatever was necessary to get things moving on the ground in terms of preparation, and to give the public a sense that the project would in fact be a reality.
“They went out, had their tanks cleaned and had the foresight to also buy equipment, which they are now going to be leasing to the marketing companies that are not up to speed. We also had to get buy-in and when we started out with our public education programme it wasn’t going every well and we terminated that ad agency:, said Minister Mullings. “Issues of procurement come up.so having terminated the ad agency seven days before actually rolling out the product we had to do it in-house. So you had everybody coming together and driving the promotion, and pushing it,” he told the gathering. The E10 blend is also available at Petcom service stations in Naggo Head, Braeton, and Angel’s in St. Catherine, as well as Slipe Road in Kingston. Other service stations throughout Kingston have also begun to serve E10 to motorists.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mullings also pointed to the petcoke co-generation power project with the Jamaica Public Service Company, as further demonstration of the Government’s commitment to execute programmes that are responsive to the energy needs of the country.
The project will seek to produce and utilise petroleum coke (petcoke), a low cost fuel, to generate electricity.
“Here again,” the Minster said, “project implementation and management is going to be absolutely critical. It is going to take a lot of effort, focus and capacity to deliver. These projects will be critical for us so that we can deliver to the country.”
International Project Management Day is intended to encourage project-based organisations worldwide or organisations which utilise project management methodologies, to recognise the application of such methodologies, the success of their application, and the work of project managers and their teams, and to demonstrate appreciation for their work.

Skip to content