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Loans for Renewable Energy Projects available – Improve efficiency and cut costs

With the price of oil projected to surpass the US$100 per barrel mark this year, EXIM Bank is encouraging local businesses in the productive sector to protect themselves from the adverse effects of high costs by retrofitting their operations to be completely energy efficient.
EXIM Bank is urging commercial and industrial users, energy service companies and manufacturers of energy efficiency equipment and devices to access ‘energy loans’ available in J$ at 9.5 per cent, per annum.  The loans are geared towards developing renewable energy systems, such as solar, wind, bio-gas, for electricity conservation.

Jamaica’s electricity costs are among the highest in the region, due largely to high dependence on imported oil.  In 2008, the country’s oil import bill surpassed its export earnings for that year, and this threat is expected to intensify in 2011. Energy conservation efforts and switching to other forms of energy generation such as solar, nuclear and wind are key ways to lead the country out of its oil dependence and the risks to its sustainability due to the high energy costs.

“This is a fairly newly offered loan, with very attractive rates. It comes at a time when incorporating alternative and less costly energy sources is really an imperative for business success,” said  Ann-Marie Walter Allen, Chief Marketing Officer at the EXIM Bank who also added that the loans are available directly through the EXIM Bank.

There is much promise and potential for businesses which transfer to renewable and alternative energy as there is a high return on investment and immediate savings.  Other benefits include increased profit, productivity, jobs and ultimately the protection of the continuation of businesses in the face of sporadic changes in oil prices.

“Analysts expect the cost of fossil fuels to increase, and the demand for these products to also increase. That creates the perfect scenario for high prices which can be detrimental to local businesses.  Business owners can therefore mitigate against those risks by spending the money now to cut dependence on oil and thus see better profit in the future,” Mrs. Walter-Allen said.

Energy cost reduction and business generation in alternative energy provision are top priorities for the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) this year. As such, the PSOJ sees the EXIM ‘energy loan’ as an option for businesses to finance what can be very costly, though essential retrofitting. “There is demand in the private sector, for systems that will lead to optimal energy use.  This is driven by environmental consciousness, the need to cut costs, and the evident practicality of exploiting alternative energy sources.  In response to the demand, the PSOJ will be hosting workshops offering practical, in-depth, information on how businesses can improve energy efficiency and environmental management.  The EXIM Bank’s energy loan facility should prove useful to our members, as I anticipate many will want to act on the new knowledge gained from the workshops.”said Sandra Glasgow, Chief Executive Officer of the PSOJ.


Source: Exim Bank



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