Sun | Dec 17, 2017

New Fortress to invest billions in Jamaica

Published:Thursday | November 30, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Danar Royal (right), senior operator for the control room at New Fortress Energy, explains his responsibilities during a tour of the LNG facilities by participants in the inaugural natural gas conference earlier this year. He is supported by terminal manager Gregoy Piechowski.

The company responsible for the introduction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Jamaica, the United States-based New Fortress Energy (NFE), says it expects to invest over US$1 billion (J$126 billion) in infrastructure in the island over the next several years.

This, as Jamaica transitions to natural gas use.

The disclosure was made by NFE Managing Director Brannen McElmurray, who noted that the company has already invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Jamaica.

McElmurray was responding to questions from The Gleaner.

He gave an assessment of Jamaica as a place for investment and development.

He said: "It has been a great place for us to do business. The public sector has been a great partner and they're steadfast in their effort to ensure that Jamaicans will benefit from energy investments over the long term from a competitive and environmental standpoint."

McElmurray added that "there's an entrepreneurial spirit in Jamaica that seems to really be taking off in the energy sector and we're proud to play a small part in that".

NFE has fast become a name associated with natural gas in Jamaica, starting with its transformation of the Jamaica Public Service's (JPS) 120-megawatt plant at Bogue in Montego Bay, St James, from diesel fuel to LNG.

NFE is also undertaking the development of the JPS's 190-megawatt power plant at Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine. On Friday, December 1, NFE will break ground at Jamalco, Halse Hall, Clarendon, for the development of a 94-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant.

McElmurray said the plant will be built in two phases. The second phase will see the construction of a 106-megawatt facility. The cost for phase one is an estimated US$265 million.

"We're proud to invest in the transformation of Jamaica's energy landscape," McElmurray told The Gleaner.

 

COST SAVINGS

 

"The introduction of natural gas will help facilitate significant production cost savings for Jamalco. The reduced alumina production cost implies greater competitiveness for Jamalco in the global marketplace and more economic growth in Jamaica."

The managing director explained that the new natural gas-fired power plant will also generate electricity for the country, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other atmospheric pollutants. He said Jamaica was in the midst of a "remarkable transition" to clean and renewable energy, and the Jamalco power plant will help ensure that the majority of Jamaica's electricity is generated by clean power.

... LNG to reduce alumina costs

New Fortress Energy (NFE) Managing Director Brannen McElmurray says the introduction of liquified natural gas (LNG) to the alumina industry will result in the reduction in alumina production cost.

This, he said, will make Jamalco's alumina more cost-competitive.

"We believe they will be a model for the entire industry," he said.

McElmurray noted that NFE has partnered with Red Stripe, the University of the West Indies and the public transportation sector for conversion to natural gas. He said NFE was talking to a number of other potential industrial customers and continuing to work alongside JPS and the Government to ensure the country benefits from LNG.