LNG to open new opportunities

BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

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Head of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) Professor Gordon Shirley says he is excited about the availability of liquified natural gas (LNG) in the island.


According to Shirley, LNG will not only result in the price of electricity being reduced, but it will offer an alternative energy source to several industries across western Jamaica.


"It also introduces an important new energy alternative which can be expected to be important for a number of industries in the country, and particularly those in western Jamaica," the PAJ boss emphasised.


Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed similar sentiments.


"I want you to just imagine for a moment the possibilities that will come as a result of a restructured energy environment. Because we now have LNG, we could have our buses using LNG."


Both were speaking in Montego Bay last week at a function to commemorate the conversion of the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) facility at Bogue to the use of natural gas.


Chairman of the Electrical Sector Enterprise Team Dr Vincent Lawrence recalled that for over two decades, after experiencing a surge in oil prices, Jamaica’s objective had been to "diversify both the type of fuel utilised".


"This has been a long journey for our country," Dr Lawrence commented about last month’s arrival of LNG to Montego Bay.


Meanwhile, Wes Edens, CEO of LNG suppliers New Fortress, argued that Jamaica’s approach to diversify energy will have a ripple effect throughout the Caribbean.


"I think it is a celebration of what is to come, because I think what you see around you is the model of what is going to happen around the Caribbean. I think what you see around you is a model of what is going to happen around the world," said Edens.


Professor Shirley reflected that under two years ago, when the PAJ was approached by New Fortress Energy to facilitate the shipment of LNG to the terminal in Montego Bay and to allow for the construction of the storage facility on the port lands, it was easy to convince the PAJ board and the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, to grant approval.


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