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Jamaica to become Caribbean hub for LNG ...MoBay plant completed, Old Harbour Bay next

Published:Monday | November 14, 2016 | 12:00 AM

With Jamaica's first natural gas-fired powered plant, the newly created facility at Bogue in Montego Bay, now completed, the Government is now looking at plans to construct an even bigger plant in Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine, which would make the island the hub for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Caribbean region.

"The bringing of natural gas to Jamaica is certainly a significant milestone in Jamaica's thrust to achieve meaningful growth," said Dr Vincent Lawrence, chairman of the Electricity Sector Enterprise Team, who was present for the commissioning of the Bogue plant, last Friday.

"Relatively lower and stable energy prices from the use of natural gas to generate base-load capacity will increase confidence and reliability for the productive sector and consumers, generally," Lawrence said.

"At a time when Jamaica is achieving some form of macro-economic stability, the bringing of natural gas is most welcome and could be one of the country's foundations, or cornerstones, for future progress," continued Lawrence. "We will now concentrate on the much larger facility to be built in Old Harbour Bay, which includes the agreement to make Jamaica a hub for LNG in the region."

The Bogue plant, a 120-megawatt combined-cycle plant, is one of the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited's (JPS) main power stations. The others are Rockfort and Hunts Bay in St Andrew and Old Harbour Bay in St Catherine. Bogue consists of three individual units, two combustion turbine generating units with a total capacity of 80 megawatts, and a 40-megawatt steam generating unit.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who declared the commissioning of the Bogue facility in service, welcomed the idea of Jamaica becoming a distribution point for LNG in the region. He noted that becoming a net exporter of energy across the region was very significant.

The United States-based New Fortress Energy signed a 20-year supply deal with the JPS on August 6, 2015, and invested US$750 million into the construction of the LNG terminal.

Kelly Tomblin, chief executive officer of the JPS, was full of praise for the effort of her team in striking the deal as she emphasised the importance of the introduction of LNG, which she said was a historic milestone for Jamaica as the nation pursues "energy diversification and the expansion of its energy sector".

The deal, which will see LNG supply being extended to the new 190-megawatt power plant at Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine, has already been signed. New Fortress Energy will also fund that project.