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Story Highlights

  • The Spanish Town Hospital, in St. Catherine, is projected to save more than $1.6 million per annum in energy cost, with the installation of a state-of-the-art air conditioning (AC) system.
  • The system is being acquired at a cost of $8.4 million by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), under the Government’s Energy Efficiency Programme.
  • ATL has been awarded the contract to supply and install the unit on the maternity wing of the 62-year-old health facility by June.

The Spanish Town Hospital, in St. Catherine, is projected to save more than $1.6 million per annum in energy cost, with the installation of a state-of-the-art air conditioning (AC) system.

The system is being acquired at a cost of $8.4 million by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), under the Government’s Energy Efficiency Programme.

Appliance Traders Limited (ATL) has been awarded the contract to supply and install the unit on the maternity wing of the 62-year-old health facility by June.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), Hon. Phillip Paulwell, along with PCJ’s Acting Group Manager, Winston Watson, and Managing Director of the ATL Group, Danville Walker, signed a contract for the implementation of the project on Tuesday, April 22, at the Ministry’s head office, in New Kingston.

Mr. Paulwell informed that under the agreement, ATL will supply and install a 20-tonne air conditioning system in the maternity wing’s operating theatre and a 12-tonne system on the labour ward.

He said the significant savings to be accrued is a welcomed reprieve for the hospital, where AC units now account for close to 43 per cent of the energy used.

Mr. Paulwell further reiterated the Government’s commitment to reducing the national energy bill by improving the energy conservation and efficiency measures in the public sector.

“The Government spends just about $14 billion per annum on electricity. Our goal is to cut that by about 20 per cent, which would mean significant savings and more revenues to spend on other activities,” he said.

In the meantime, Mr. Watson informed that the initiative is part of the PCJ’s mandate to reduce the national energy bill by equipping public facilities with energy efficient technology.

“High energy costs present a serious impediment to service delivery at government institutions, so the PCJ is carrying out interventions to alleviate some of the financial pressures being faced by the public sector,” Mr. Watson said.

“Projects such as the one we are undertaking at the Spanish Town Hospital won’t solve all of our energy problems, but they will help to cut our energy spend, while we seek to implement longer term solutions,” he added.

Over the last two fiscal years, the PCJ has spent more than $60 million on energy efficiency projects in schools, hospitals and other public service institutions.

The upgrade of the maternity wing’s AC system is the third energy efficient project the PCJ has undertaken at the Spanish Town Hospital.

Last year, the PCJ carried out a complete retrofitting of the internal lighting system on the maternity wing at a cost of $1.2 million. That intervention was projected to cut the hospital’s energy consumption by 36,000 kWh per year.

In addition, in March 2009, the PCJ installed a $3.8 million solar water heating system at the facility.

For his part, Mr. Walker said ATL is pleased to be a part of the Government’s drive to reduce the energy costs of the public sector.

He further informed that the AC units to be installed are state-of-the-art, energy efficient systems, with a much smaller energy footprint than older units used in the past.