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JPS identifies low-cost fuel source for Bogue plant upgrade

Published:Sunday | January 18, 2015 | 6:37 PM
A section of the JPS powerplant at Bogue, Montego Bay. - File

The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) says it has identified at least two low-cost fuel options to be used in the conversion of the Bogue power-plant in St James.

The plant is to be converted to accommodate gas-based fuels under a project, which is to cost about US$80 million or more than J$9 billion.

In a release this afternoon, JPS' vice president for Customer and Corporate Services, Sheree Martin, says the opportunity to undertake the project had only now presented itself to the light and power company.

She says JPS had started discussions with a supplier for the conversion in 2013, but says the costs at the time would have been prohibitive to consumers. She revealed that discussions with the supplier were placed on hold when Government decided to move ahead with the 381 MW gas project last year. She says the discussions were placed on hold because JPS believed it would have been more economical to have one supplier of gas for both the 381 MW project and Bogue.

According to Martin, the Bogue project suffered from more than 10 years of indecision on a preferred alternative fuel for the country and financiers' unwillingness to accept certain delivery technologies. In addition, Martin says the failed Energy World International project to establish the new base-load and fuel facility contributed to delays as well.

JPS says a major portion of funding for the Bogue project is to be shouldered by the fuel supplier and recovered in a fuel supply agreement; while JPS will directly invest about US$15 million to convert the turbines to accept Gas Fuel.

JPS says although it has not made a request for special funding for the Bogue project, the Office of Utilities Regulation has decided that funding for the plant conversion should be raised from a special tariff to be charged to customers.


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