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LNG for JUTC

LNG-powered buses in the works — PM

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

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Cabinet has approved the long-awaited pilot project to retrofit some Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) buses to use liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The pilot is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year, with five new LNG buses involved.

Holness pointed out that this is part of serious efforts by the Government to achieve energy efficiency and, by extension, energy diversification, which will result in sustainable economic growth.

He was speaking yesterday at the launch of Red Stripe's new production line, dubbed Line 8, and LNG plant, at its Spanish Town Road facility in Kingston.

“The right fuel mix fuels efficiency and the economy. From the micro entrepreneur to the large manufacturer, energy is a critical input. We must ensure that the thrust towards the provision of clean and affordable energy is given priority,” Holness said.

He added that the Government has carefully examined a tax structure to incentivise the use of LNG. He also noted that currently, 18 per cent of the country's energy production is based on renewable energy and he would like to see that figure climb to 50 per cent in short order.

In lauding the latest development at Red Stripe, Holness emphasised the role of Government in supporting the private sector to achieve greater investments in a seamless manner.

“The Government stands side by side in support of, and behind the private sector to drive growth,” he said.

“We are here to support, to create the facilitating, enabling, and seamless environment so that you can engage in products that can repatriate your production capacity, substitute local raw materials, and make long-term investments to renew capital equipment,” he added.

Minister of state in the minister of Finance and the Public Service, Fayval Williams said that she is impressed with the production facility and the LNG plant.

With introduction of the close to US$18-million production line, Red Stripe, which is a part of the Heineken Company, will be able to further expand its export capabilities to produce 40,000 bottles per hour and 26,000 cases of beer per day, exclusively for its growing global markets.

The new line now means the brewery can produce up to 1 million bottles of the Jamaican beer for the domestic and international markets.

The brewer will also become the first commercial company in Jamaica to be fully LNG-powered through a project in partnership with US-based supplier New Fortress Energy. This means there will be a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 6,000 tonnes per annum.

Managing director of Red Stripe, Ricardo Nuncio, said the aim is to make the signature beer a truly global brand.

He noted that Red Stripe established for itself three imperative actions and has successfully completed them. These are: repatriation of the beer volumes from the US, accelerate domestic growth, and accelerate project growth — an ambitious project to replace imported raw material with locally grown cassava.

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