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Closer monitoring of Petrojam, says energy minister

Thursday, May 16, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams, says since the compulsory acquisition of the 49 per cent shareholding in Petrojam, the Government is moving to reconstitute the Board.

“There is closer monitoring of the activities, resulting in Petrojam seeking clearance from the Ministry on many matters,” she noted during her contribution to the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Regarding the forensic audit of the oil loss, the minister said the feedback received has been sent to the Auditor General, who will oversee the procurement of the forensic auditor for the job.

Williams said four institutions responded with feedback. These are the Integrity Commission, the Jamaica Association of Petroleum Marketers, Major Organised Crime Agency (MOCA) and the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA).

“Beyond all of this, as you are aware, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) continues its weekly interrogations. Additionally, we await the results of MOCA and the Integrity Commission,” she told the House.

Meanwhile, the minister noted that the market for the heavy fuel oil that Petrojam refines has changed significantly in Jamaica.

She pointed out that in the electricity-generation sector, the use of heavy fuel oil to generate electricity will decline from 95 per cent to about 44.8 per cent by the end of 2020.

Additionally, Williams said the market for bunkering, which is the refuelling of ships, will see major changes starting January 1, 2020.

“These changes will result in ships using lower-sulphur fuels, requiring further changes to Petrojam's business model. These are dramatic changes for Petrojam,” she said.

Williams further noted that an upcoming milestone is the delivery of a Report prepared by the Strategic Review Committee that will lay out all the options for the Government to consider and decide.

The report will also include analysis of Petrojam Ethanol Limited and Jamaica Aircraft Refuelling Services, subsidiaries of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica and Petrojam, respectively.

— JIS


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