Sun | Sep 24, 2017

JPS closing negotiations with alternate bidder for 190MW project

Published:Friday | December 18, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd (JPS) has made good on its pledge to activate alternative plans to ensure the execution of the proposed 190-megawatt power plant at Old Harbour in St Catherine.

Yesterday, the light and power company said it was now in the final stages of negotiations with an alternate bidder to provide engineering, procurement and construction services, for the plant to be built in Old Harbour, St Catherine.

The original preferred bidder, Abengoa, was selected through a competitive tender process, with the assistance of two international consulting firms, AMEC Foster Wheeler and Power Engineers Collaborative LLC.

In November, the Spanish firm filed for protection from creditors - a possible first step towards filing for bankruptcy.

With the announcement of Abengoa's financial challenges, JPS has been closely watching the progress of the Spanish company's financial-restructuring plan.

However, Abengoa has not been able to provide the financial assurances required as a normal part of the process of confirming a bidder.

Kelly Tomblin, JPS president and chief executive officer, said: "We are very close to concluding key terms with one of our alternate bidders. Throughout this time, we have been working closely with the Electricity Sector Enterprise Team (ESET), so they are embedded in the process."

Commenting on the importance of the project to Jamaica, Tomblin said: "We want to make it very clear that this project is not, and has never been, in danger. JPS shareholders (EWP and Marubeni) are the ones who have committed to bringing equity to the project, and there is keen interest and indicative commitment from a variety of financing sources. I want to make it very clear that the bidder on this project is not the financier. They are an engineering, procurement and construction firm, who will be subject to significant oversight and potential penalties for non-performance. We need to clear up any confusion on their role."