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Ministry Seeks to Diversify Energy Sources

Posted 2008 October 06
 www.men.gov.jm


The Ministry of Energy is embarking on a diversification programme that would break the country’s dependence on imported oil.

Over the past months, the price of oil has skyrocketed and is no longer a viable alternative given an increasing import bill, increases in petrol, electricity and basic food items.

The Ministry is currently exploring alternative energy sources such as ethanol, wind and solar power.  Minister of Energy, Clive Mullings says the most critical project in terms of timeline and impact is the E10 blend and will be a renewable resource, unlike oil which is finite.

The ethanol-gasoline blend will be available to the public on November 1. The Minister says this ethanol in gasoline project is not only significant in its economic impact but also how it feeds into diversification as a policy. 

Additionally, the Minister pointed to other renewable energy sources that he Ministry is exploring. The Wigton Wind Farm in Manchester is being expanded with nine turbines being installed over the next twelve months.

A project to establish a solar farm to produce solar energy is before the PetroCaribe Board and a project to build solar panels and equipment for supply to Jamaica and the region needs to be signed off on.

Other plans for diversification relate to the Petcoke Cogeneration Power Project (PCPP) which aims to produce and utilize petroleum coke (Petcoke) to generate electricity.  The project proposes a 100-120 MW cogenerating plant and will be implemented through an upgraded Petrojam Refinery.

Minister Mullings also reiterated that the answer to the challenge with the dependence on oil is diversification and if we do not do this we will be open and vulnerable.

Source: Jamaica Information Service



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