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Speech
Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell. (FILE)

I am fully aware of the importance to Jamaica and the high interest of Jamaicans in respect of the 360 Megawatt Power Plant Project which is fundamentally significant to reducing the nation’s power cost.

The efforts to secure appropriate and affordable energy have been long and contentious at times, we have now however made solid progress and as a nation, we are on the threshold of breaking the back of this very difficult problem.

Recently the OUR recommended to me, as Minister, the issuance of a Power Generating License to Energy World International (EWI), which in turn is required to post a significant Performance Security Bond valued at USD 36.85M as a condition of the award.

Since I signed the license, EWI has been in dialogue with my Ministry in respect of a number of obstacles that have made the process for them much more tedious than it would otherwise be, for such a major and complex international project.

Some of the issues have received national exposure in recent days; however most stakeholders, including the Opposition, acknowledge the importance of this critical project and all efforts are being made to bring the project to fruition.

I am advised that the requisite funds have been placed with HSBC Bank so as to facilitate the issuance of the Bond. In light of the fact that the form of Bond remains outstanding, and having regard to the extenuating circumstances, we are allowing sufficient time for the Bank to complete its due diligence.

I now release a letter written to me by EWI which was received today, that clearly indicates their position on the project at this stage. Please see letter attached.