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Monymusk to get power for irrigation system

Thursday, November 09, 2017

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THE Monymusk sugar factory in Clarendon is set to become the first sugar factory in Jamaica to have its irrigation system powered by solar energy.

This was announced Tuesday by Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between SCJ Holdings Ltd and BMR Energy LLC at the ministry's St Lucia Avenue offices.

Minister Samuda stressed the need for the consistent supply of irrigation to the fertile lands at Monymusk, and said that the solar system was expected to supply 50 per cent of the energy required to power the irrigation system, the ministry said in a release.

Under the MoU, the release said BMR will also explore other options from biomass, renewable and other fuel sources, to supply the electrical energy needed by the sugar refinery.

Welcoming the partnership with BMR Energy, the agriculture minister said the solar initiative was important to the sugar industry and to the country at large. It would not only serve to reduce the cost of energy, he said, but also to increase production and to attract more investors to a more efficient system.

For his part, president and CEO of BMR Bruce Levy said his company, now fully owned by Richard Branson's Virgin Group, had been operating in Jamaica for the past five years and had built and operates the wind farm in St Elizabeth, which now supplies three per cent of the island's energy.

The goal of his company, he said, was to provide low-cost energy, and he looked forward to assisting the Sugar Company of Jamaica Holdings to reduce its energy costs and enjoy the benefits of renewable energy.

The release said SCJ Holdings Ltd is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.

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