Gov't developing law to address LNG sector-related activities

Thursday, August 29, 2019

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SCIENCE, Energy and Technology Minister Fayval Williams says activities related to Jamaica's emerging Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) sector will be addressed under the proposed Petroleum (Downstream Activities) Act, being developed by the Government.

These, she outlined, include receipt, storage, processing and distribution, adding that “the legislation will also treat with the licensing, construction, and operation of natural gas terminals and transportation”.

The minister was speaking at a bond-signing ceremony between NCB Capital Markets Limited, and New Fortress Energy, at the AC Hotel by Marriott in Kingston on Tuesday.

“The objectives of the new legislation will be to encourage private investments in the long-term financing and timely development of natural gas for Jamaica,” the minister added.

Williams noted that LNG has emerged as an integral component of the Administration's drive to secure Jamaica's energy future, as is the case with other renewables, such as solar and wind.

She pointed out that since its introduction in the national energy mix in 2016, principally by New Fortress Energy, “significant strides” have been made with natural gas.

Notably, Williams said completion of the South Jamaica Power Company plant this year, and the JAMALCO power plant in 2020, will result in natural gas accounting for approximately 38 per cent of the country's electricity generation capacity, and about 65 per cent of demand.

Additionally, she said because natural gas is significantly cheaper and is a less volatile alternative to oil, Jamaica is expected to record annual energy savings totalling some US$304 million, consequent on outputs from Jamaica Public Service (JPS) power plants in Bogue, St James; Old Harbour, St Catherine; and Clarendon-based JAMALCO.

“Diversified fuel choices in Jamaica promote competition in the downstream natural gas sector, prescribe the required standards for the natural gas sector, ensure the protection and safety of consumers and the public, and ensure that regulation of the sector is transparent, rational and predictable,” the minister pointed out.

Noting that energy is the lifeblood of Jamaica's economy and a key driver of the growth and development agenda, Williams said the introduction of natural gas as a new sector will create significant job opportunities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics; service; commercial and manufacturing industries, “ultimately creating a positive domino effect on Jamaica's socioeconomic outlook”.

— JIS


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