JPS finalises financing for 190MW LNG plant
Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) says it has now secured financing for the 190 megawatt gas-fired power plant to be built at Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine, and is expected to move forward with the project within the next 60 to 90 days.
However, the company has also confirmed that, given the delay in the start of construction which was expected by the second quarter of this year, the plant might not be completed in time to meet the mid-2018 commissioning timeline.
Financing of approximately US$210 million has been secured through a syndicate of banks, led by the National Commercial Bank Jamaica, JPS President and Chief Executive Officer Kelly Tomblin said in a company release issued to the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
In emailed responses to Financial Gleaner queries, the company said the power plant project will cost approximately US$300 million and that the balance will be covered by equity financing.
JPS also said it has also finalised an agreement with General Electric (GE) of the United States for the manufacture of equipment for the power plant, dubbed Project Renaissance.
JPS, through its subsidiary South Jamaica Power Company (SJPC), signed an agreement with General Electric this week securing the delivery schedule for all major equipment for the new plant.
"This is a significant milestone which will allow us to move to the next stage of the project," said Tomblin. "In addition to the agreement with GE, SJPC has also selected the engineering, procurement and construction contractor, and secured all the financing for the new power plant project."
Tomblin said they expect that all the relevant permits will be in place and the loan financing documentation completed within the next two to three months to facilitate the start of construction.
The company said New Fortress Energy, which will be supplying liquefied natural gas to the light and power supplier, is awaiting permits for the LNG facility to be located near Old Harbour Bay. New Fortress Energy will be hosting a
public consultation on the environmental report for its marine LNG terminal next Wednesday, September 28.
In March this year, the JPS announced that the National Environment and Planning Agency had approved the construction of the power plant and that the Office of Utilities Regulation and the Electricity Sector Enterprise Team had also given formal approval of the power purchase agreement for the new facility.
At that time, Tomblin said the utility was finalising details of the project with equipment supplier General Electric and engineering procurement and construction company Power China, the latter having been contracted to build the plant.