Jamaican energy minister hails LNG deal
A new agreement between the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) and New Fortress Energy for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel the generation of electricity is the catalyst that can establish Jamaica as an energy hub for the Caribbean and Latin America, said energy minister, Phillip Paulwell.
This development must therefore be recognized and appreciated in the context of the ministry’s energy policy, the energy accord between governments of the United States and Jamaica and the urgent need to achieve competitiveness and the acceleration of the island’s economic performance, Paulwell added in a statement.
“Based on the positive interaction and level of stakeholder participation that guided the process leading to the agreement with the United States Department of Commerce, the Office of the President and the government of Jamaica, we believe that this development has been one of the most profound examples of private and public sector collaboration and achievement,” he said.
Under the agreement, US-based New Fortress Energy will provide JPS with LNG for its 120-megawatt power plant at Bogue in Montego Bay. The 12-year-old diesel powered plant, which was first commissioned into service in 2003, is being converted to utilize natural gas.
The LNG supply agreement, which will facilitate the delivery of gas to the company by early 2016, has now enabled the JPS to begin the infrastructure work in short order and hasten the generation of electricity in a more cost-effective manner.
The agreement represents a major outcome arising from the significant policy shift by the Department of Energy of the US government to authorize the export LNG to Jamaica.
New Fortress Energy, which is now contracted to provide the gas, has over US$72 billion assets under management and is a subsidiary of Fortress Investment Group, a major global asset firm with a long and impressive history of owning and operating energy, transportation, infrastructure oriented assets worldwide.
Overtime, LNG will save customers and the country millions of dollars and as the US energy policy shift continues to open up the door to a reliable supply of the clean, affordable fuel, other opportunities for the Jamaican economy will materialize.
Importantly also, the availability of LNG to Jamaica represents a key plank in the government’s energy efficiency and diversification policy. The increased utilization of cleaner and more environmentally friendly fuels will reduce the carbon footprint and reinforces a commitment to promote and facilitate the use of renewables.