News

Country to get update on JPS natural gas plant

— PM

Wednesday, January 16, 2013    

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THE country should hear in a matter of days the Government's "final position" on the plans by the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) to build a 360-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant.

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), in December 2011, awarded the right to JPS and its shareholders to build a new 360-megawatt combined cycle power plant, which will be fuelled by natural gas.

Speaking at a special media briefing at Jamaica House in St Andrew on Monday, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said the indication would come by the end of this month.

"We encourage the local private sector to participate and respond to the request for proposals for the 115 megawatts of renewable energy that is being added to the grid," the prime minister told persons at the briefing, which was called following the special three-day Cabinet retreat that ended Saturday.

"This is an opportunity available to both local and overseas investors. While we have had interest from overseas, we are also seeking local partners in the process," she said further.

The JPS, in its 2011 Annual Report, said the new plant would help reduce the cost of electricity and fall in line with its plans to build newer, more efficient power plants and diversify away from oil-fired generation units.

It said the investment will cost in excess of $50 billion, but has the potential to reduce the overall cost of electricity by 30 per cent. The company said it was committed to working closely with the Government to have this project completed by 2015. It noted that the reduction in the cost of energy in Jamaica would act as a catalyst for further growth and development of the economy and will result in Jamaica's energy cost being competitive in the Caribbean region.

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