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Italians studying J’can hydro

 

ITALIAN consulting firm SP Studio Pietrangeli is conducting a feasibility study of five potential hydropower sites at a cost of more than $109 million.

 

The project, which will start this month and end towards the end next year, aims to look at five different rivers — Rio Cobre River in St Catherine, Morgan’s and Negro rivers in St Thomas, Martha Brae River in Trelawny, and Spanish River in Portland.

A section of the Maggotty River in St Elizabeth, where Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) is developing a 6.3-megawatt hydropower plant.

A section of the Maggotty River in St Elizabeth, where Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) is developing a 6.3-megawatt hydropower plant.

“The idea behind these studies is to create an extensive body of information that we can make available to prospective investors,” said Dr Mario Anderson, managing director of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), which is managing the project. “To drive development in this area we will have to attract local and overseas private sector entities and the information gathered from these studies should eliminate a lot of the guess work for potential investors,” he added.

 

The scope of works covers prefeasibility and feasibility studies; and includes site investigations, topographical and geotechnical assessments, detailed cost estimates, construction schedules, and socio-environmental impact assessments.

 

The drive to diversify comes against the background of the country’s overdependence on costly imported fuel; which has led to a national energy bill that runs as high as US$2 billion annually.

 

To address this challenge, the National Energy Policy stipulates that at least 20 per cent of Jamaica’s energy supply must come from renewable sources by 2030.

 

The work is being carried out as part of the Energy Security and Efficiency Enhancement Project (ESEEP) which is being funded through a 2011 loan agreement between the Government and the World Bank.

 

Under the agreement, the World Bank has provided US$15 million to finance initiatives devised to increase Jamaica’s energy efficiency and improve energy security. Of this amount, US$2.5 million has been allocated to hydro project implementation.

 

“As we look to the greater use of hydropower in Jamaica’s energy mix, we believe that this project is quite important and it will provide us with some of the critical data that will encourage our private sector players to look more closely at the opportunities that exist within hydropower,” said Minister of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining Phillip Paulwell.

 

SP Studio Pietrangeli’s expertise covers all aspects of hydropower project development and the company has designed over 200 major hydropower projects in various locations across the globe.

 

Source: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Italians-studying-J-can-hydro_13991332



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