• JIS News

    Stakeholders in the inter-governmental energy project, to develop and implement Jamaica’s bio-fuels policy, are optimistic about the sector.
    The project is being executed by the Government of Jamaica with support from the Governments of Brazil and the United States and the Organization of American States (OAS). It aims to establish a strong legal and regulatory framework for a vibrant bio-fuel industry that includes bio-ethanol and bio-diesel.
    The project was formally launched at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) on Wednesday (May 19). On Thursday (May 20), a team headed by Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. James Robertson, toured Worthy Park, St. Catherine, one of the sugar estates being consulted in the initiative.
    The touring team also included Energy and Biofuels Officer, United States Department of State, Richard Simmons, who is providing the technical expertise and Team Manager, Winrocks International, David Walden, whose company is conducting the industry development study.
    Speaking after the tour, Mr. Simmons said the US was “very encouraged” to be involved, pointing to the possible benefits.
    “We think that the diversification of that strategic crop into economic opportunities and energy diversification makes a lot of sense,” Mr. Simmons stated.
    Mr. Walden, noting the opportunities to be derived from the undertaking, pointed to the need for an integrated approach to developing the policy to set the stage for buy-in by the private sector, in particular.
    “What I want to do is listen to the experience and knowledge here, give input and advice and work together, with the public and private sectors, to try to make sure that, at the end of our work, which will primarily be over a six to eight month period, we will be able to come out with the best suggestions, (and) the best framework for the policy, (as well as) projects that can be implemented,” Mr. Walden said.
    Managing Director of Worthy Park, Peter Clarke, stressed the pivotal role sugar cane can play in energy diversification, particularly bio-fuels and co-generation.
    Mr. Robertson said that a special committee, comprising representatives of the Ministries of Energy and Mining and Agriculture and Fisheries, has been established to drive the process from a local perspective.

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