Jamaicans open transformer plant in St Ann

Monday, July 20, 2015

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MINISTER of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton last Friday welcomed the introduction of Federal Transformer Manufacturing and Consulting Limited (FTMC) into the local manufacturing sector.

He said the company's setting up of operations here could result in significant reduction in the cost of electricity to the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), and its approximately 600,000 commercial and residential customers.

"Today, FTMC Limited is in receipt of a three-year contract to exclusively supply (its primary client) Jamaica Public Service (JPS) with transformer refurbishing, maintenance and consulting services," Hylton said.

He said that prior to FTMC Limited coming to Jamaica, the JPS sent transformers to Canada to be refurbished.

"The operations at FTMC will, therefore, allow the JPS to provide a more efficient and cost-effective service to their consumers," Minister Hylton stated.

The industry mnister was speaking at last Friday's launch of FTMC Limited which is located at the former Jamaica Bauxite Mines Plant in Lydford District, St Ann. The company represents an investment of US$400,000 in start-up capital.

FTMC Limited will manufacture and refurbish transformers of various sizes and voltage output levels. Additionally, the company will provide consulting and maintenance services to other clients, including Wigton Wind Farm in Manchester and major hotels throughout the country that generate their own electricity.

Already the company has employed 23 persons, and looks to increase the number to more than 200 within three years.

"This is particularly good news for our young people studying electrical engineering as this investment will increase their job prospects," Minister Hylton said.

FTMC limited shareholding is 100 per cent Jamaican-owned by returned residents Granville Reid, Dr Harvey Reid and Clarence Harrison.

The company's CEO and founder, Granville Reid, said the project was the realisation of his dream to return home and contribute to the development of the country of his birth, while providing a viable alternative to migration for engineering university graduates.

"Young people need to get into some sort of career, but need the vehicle to move on; Federal Transformer is one of the vehicles I want to use to grasp the young minds. This is my dream and this is one of my main intentions," Reid stated.

The investor, who is world- renowned in the electrical engineering and manufacturing fields, gave the assurance that FTMC Limited will meet its three- year service delivery schedule to cut JPS's equipment importation bill by 75 per cent.

"This is what Federal can achieve; we can cut the cost of buying transformers from abroad by 25 per cent in the first year. In the second year, we want to cut the cost of buying transformers from abroad by 50 per cent. The third year, we want to cut the cost of buying transformers from abroad by 75 per cent, and this is not a myth," Reid said.

Lisa Hanna, minister of youth and culture and member of parliament for South East St Ann, where the plant is located, in making reference to the International Labour Organisation's statistics which speaks to a global crisis in youth unemployment, endorsed the FTMC Limited project as one that will assist Government's efforts to provide employment opportunities for the country's youth.

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