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Public, private energy monitoring committee formed

Sunday, December 22, 2013    

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THE Government has partnered with key private sector lobby groups to form an energy monitoring committee (EMC).

Chief among their concerns is the high cost of energy to the Jamaican economy and, perhaps more significantly, the current bidding process for the proposed 360 megawatt (MW) generation facility.

"The central mandate of this committee, whose terms of reference has been approved by the Cabinet, is to ensure that the bid process is followed in the manner prescribed by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR)," said a release issued by the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), "and that at the culmination of the process, the price of electricity provided by the Licensee to Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) does not exceed US$0.1288 per kWh."

The PSOJ is joined by the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), the Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA) and the Jamaica Civil Society Coalition (JCSC) to form the oversight body.

The EMC is made up of nine members and is co-chaired by Carlton Davis and Peter Melhado from the public and private sectors, respectively.

"In order to pursue its mandate, it is expected that the committee will monitor five key areas during the process," said the PSOJ. "The acquisition of fuel for generation; installation of the necessary infrastructure to distribute the fuel; bankable Power Purchasing Agreement between the licensee and JPS; the construction of the generating units against agreed timelines/budgets; and proper financing arrangements to underpin all of the above."

The EMC expects to have access to sensitive information in order to fulfil its terms of reference and as such, the members will be bound by strict confidentiality agreements and conflict of interest disclosures.

However, the committee will issue appropriate public releases from time to time in keeping with the national interest in this project.

The other members of the EMC are: Fitzroy Vidal and Michelle Forbes from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining as well as William Saunders, energy consultant to the Government. From the private sector, Simon Roberts will represent the JMA, Noel daCosta, the JCC, and Jeanette Calder, JCSC.

Lloyd Goodleigh of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions is also on the committee.

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