ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr Andrew Wheatley, says the acquisition of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as part of the energy option is a significant boost to the country’s diversification efforts and economic endeavours.
Addressing stakeholders and business leaders at the commissioning of LNG at the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Bogue power plant in St James on November 11, Dr Wheatley said this comes at an opportune time when the country is continuing the pursuit of alternative fuel sources and creating the architecture for a sustainable energy future.
“The country is now seeing tremendous accomplishments in our energy endeavours. We have the largest wind and solar installations in the English speaking Caribbean. As energy minister, it is my vision for this sector to have a fit for purpose energy architecture that can be the cornerstone of a production platform for delivering the economic growth required by our people and country,” the minister said.
The Government’s drive to bring cheaper and cleaner energy to the people of Jamaica has been advanced with the arrival of LNG for the JPS power plant in Bogue, St James nearly two weeks ago. Supplied by American investor and JPS’ LNG partner, New Fortress Energy, the shipment arrived at the port of Montego Bay aboard the feeder ship, Anthony Veeder.
The minister said that by the end of 2017, the country would meet its target of 15 per cent renewable energy.
“Energy affects every facet of our lives. So, as we pursue a diversified energy strategy we recognise the need for energy generation from as many sources as possible, as well as the need for greater security in Jamaica’s energy future,” he said.
The minister argued that the energy policy and plans will enable the creation of a competitive energy market, the modernization of the nation’s power generation, and the diversification of energy sources with a strong emphasis on renewables.
“We intend to pursue further negotiations to make Jamaica a hub for the purchase and redistribution of LNG in the region,” he noted.
Jamaica has a long standing problem with the high cost of energy produced on the Island by the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS). That has had a serious impact on the manufacturing sector especially. Manufacturing has taken a hit, and has declined substantially from the 1960`s.
For many years different governments has called for the need to diversify Jamaica`s energy mix, in an attempt to bring down the cost of energy. Those initiatives has either stalled or never started in the first place. With the JPS Bogue Plant now powered by cheaper energy, it may go a far way in reducing the overall cost of energy to consumers-business and Residential.