Tue | Dec 12, 2017

Broker selected for Wigton IPO

Published:Wednesday | October 4, 2017 | 12:00 AMAvia Collinder
A section of the Wigton Windfarm in Manchester

The divestment unit of the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) confirmed that it has selected a broker for the initial public offering of shares in Wigton Windfarm Limited on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

However, DBJ said it is still finalising the paper work with the broker, whose identity would be disclosed "in due course".

The Government of Jamaica, through the Wigton Windfarm Enterprise Team, is seeking to list Wigton on the market in line with its stated policy to support the local capital market and open up access to ownership of public assets. Wigton's divestment was approved by the Cabinet last October.

The energy company located at Rose Hill in Manchester is described as the Caribbean's largest wind farm. It is a subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ). The DBJ notes on its website that the Government is "assessing the optimal structure of the public share offering that would provide the best value to the PCJ as well as achieve the broader objectives of the GOJ."

Wigton was first commissioned in 2004 as a 20.7 MW wind farm. Six years later, 18 MW was added to its capacity under the Wigton II project. And in June 2016, another 24 MW was commissioned under Wigton III.

The wind farm's total output is now 164,775 MWh per year. It accounts for 6.2 per cent of installed capacity on the national power grid, and 3.7 per cent of Jamaica's electricity generation. Wigton sells the electricity it generates to the Jamaica Public Service Company, operator of the national grid.

Wigton's General Manager Earl Barrett has previously said that wind is currently the cheapest source of power available locally, noting that supplies to the grid cost around US13.5 cents/kWh, while the fuel costs as paid to persons in the net billing programme of the Jamaica Public service Limited are approximately US 23 cents/kWh.

DBJ said the timing of the IPO will be "determined in conjunction with the broker". As to the purpose of the funds to be raised, that will be "detailed in the prospectus at the appropriate time", the development bank said.

"The development of wind farms in Jamaica is dependent on the interest of potential investors to establish same as well as the existing legislation guiding the establishment of various renewable energy sources. Wigton intends to continue as a major player in the production of renewable energy," the DBJ said.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com