KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM) and the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) will be undertaking feasibility work at five potential hydropower sites at a cost of more than J$109million.
The work is being carried out as part of the Energy Security and Efficiency Enhancement Project (ESEEP) which is being funded through a 2011 loan agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the World Bank. Under the agreement the World Bank has provided US$15 million to finance initiatives devised to improve Jamaica’s energy efficiency and energy security. Of this amount, US$2.5 million has been allocated to hydro project implementation.
The Five River Feasibility Project, which is one of the first initiatives to be undertaken as part of the pact, is being managed by the PCJ. The sites slated for the venture are the Rio Cobre River in St Catherine, Morgan’s River and Negro River in St Thomas, Martha Brae River in Trelawny and Spanish River in Portland.
Energy minister Phillip Paulwell has described the project as significant to his Ministry’s larger plan to develop Jamaica’s renewable energy industry.
“As we look to the greater use of hydro power in Jamaica’s energy mix, we believe that this project is quite important and it will provide us with some of the critical data that will encourage our private sector players to look more closely at the opportunities that exist within hydropower. So we’re happy about the work that is to be done and we are looking forward to its early and successful completion,” he said.