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MoBay port modernization to support Bogue plant’s LNG conversion

Published:Thursday | October 15, 2015 | 10:00 AMChristopher Thomas

WESTERN BUREAU:

Edmond Marsh, vice-president of business development at the Port Authority of Jamaica, has announced that his organisation will speed up modernisation of the Montego Bay shipping port to support the conversion of the Jamaica Public Service's (JPS) Bogue plant to use liquefied natural gas (LNG).

"We are very committed to the conversion project, and our job is to ensure that the port of Montego Bay is ready to accept LNG when it comes ... . Therefore, we have accelerated our plans to modernise the port," Marsh said at the official launch of the gas-conversion project

at the JPS's Bogue plant in Montego Bay on Tuesday.

"One of the first activities we will be doing is that we will provide a new berth (space for docking)," Marsh explained.

"As a result of where the berth is being planned to start, it is shared with cruise shipping, and many times cruise ships have to get priority. For that reason, we have moved forward with the development of a new berth to facilitate the development and offloading of the cargo."

OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH

Marsh said the JPS's gas conversion project for Bogue provides additional opportunities for the growth of Montego Bay.

"We look at this as a game-changer, and in fact, we see a lot of innovation arising from this project; not only will it bring new technologies to the port, but it will allow us at the Port Authority to focus a lot more, not just on Kingston, but to look at Montego Bay as a very important element to support the whole western region ... . We think of this as a big opportunity for Jamaica, not only to see reduction in fuel, but also to see new developments in the areas that support and will use LNG," said Marsh.

The newly launched Bogue power plant conversion, which is being undertaken at a cost of $2.6 billion will see the 120-megawatt plant transformed from using solely automotive diesel oil to being capable of also LNG, contributing to Jamaica's energy diversity, fuel security and production of clean energy.

JPS has signed an agreement with US-based energy provider New Fortress Energy to provide the light-and-power company with LNG for the Bogue plant. The conversion of the plant is scheduled for completion by April 2016.

Chairman of the Electricity Sector Enterprise Team, Dr Vin Lawrence, said that JPS's newly planned 190-megawatt gas plant, which was approved in early February and is slated to be built on Jamaica's south coast, will facilitate the Bogue plant.

"What we are looking at is to ensure that the terminal has the capability to supply gas throughout the country. This terminal is the icebreaker which actually brings the gas in, primarily for the Bogue plant," said Lawrence. "We are in the final stages of selecting someone to build the terminal and to be the major gas supplier to the country."