Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Wigton JSE listing by next March; five entities shortlisted to bid for school's solar project

Published:Wednesday | November 14, 2018 | 8:41 AM
A section of the Wigton Windfarm Limited in Manchester.

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) has commenced preparations to list Wigton Windfarm Limited on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), which is expected to be completed by March 2019.

This is in keeping with the Government’s plan for a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement for the entity’s operations.

DBJ Managing Director Milverton Reynolds said that listing on the JSE will afford private-sector companies and ordinary individuals the opportunity to invest in the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) subsidiary by purchasing shares in the company.

“This is an opportunity for ordinary Jamaicans to own an asset that was previously owned by the Government, and which has been very, very successful, well managed, is poised for expansion and has an exciting future… and we want everyone to participate,” he said.

Reynolds noted that the DBJ is being assisted in this engagement by Mayberry Investments Limited, which was selected as the stockbroker via a tender process. He said it is expected that the listing and sale of shares will be completed by the end of March 2019.

The DBJ managing director, who was speaking at a Caribbean Renewable Energy forum at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston yesterday, said Wigton is one of two major energy projects for which the DBJ is currently pursuing PPP/privatisation arrangements.

The other is the Jamaica Schools Energy Efficiency and Solar Public-Private Partnership Pilot Project, which is expected to generate more than $100 million in savings for the Government when fully implemented.

Reynolds said it is being proposed that ordinary persons applying for a relatively smaller number of shares in Wigton will be able to get 100 per cent allotment, and the remaining shares will be apportioned “in terms of availability and the investments that come in after that”.

The DBJ head described Wigton as a “modern, successful business”, generating income of some $2.36 billion and net profit of approximately $827 million up to March 2018.

Wigton began operating in 2004 with a 20.7 megawatt (MW) capacity, which expanded to 38.7MW in 2010 and 62.7MW of capacity in 2016.

Reynolds indicated that the entity accounts for 6.2 per cent of the national power grid’s installed generating capacity and approximately four per cent of Jamaica’s electricity generation.

Noting that Wigton is the first project of its magnitude to be privatised since the National Commercial Bank’s (NCB) divestment, he said the DBJ is “really very excited that a project of this size is going to be listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange”.

Meanwhile, he indicated that Jamaica Schools Energy Efficiency and Solar PPP Pilot Project, to be rolled out in an initial 30 schools, aims to install photovoltaic solar systems in these institutions in order to lower energy costs and “reduce the fiscal burden to the Government”.

“This project will require an investment of some US$5million… and we have shortlisted five companies [for consideration], four of which are partnering with local firms. They have been pre-qualified to continue to the final bidding process,” he informed.

Reynolds indicated that the project is expected to be completed by March 2019, “and we are hoping that with the success of this project, we can then roll it out to other schools right across the island”.

Tuesday’s forum was jointly hosted by JN Fund Managers Limited, and German asset and investment management firm, MPC Capital.

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