Wed | Jul 29, 2015

Paulwell demands report from Petrojam

Published:Monday | November 19, 2012
Paulwell

MINISTER OF Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell has demanded that the board of directors of Petrojam Limited meet, investigate and issue a full report into last week's alleged release of noxious fumes from the refinery.

Last Wednesday, reports of an offensive chemical-type odour from persons in communities upwind of Petrojam prompted an investigation by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). The following day, Petrojam wrote to NEPA confirming that "during site clean-up operations ... the liquid contents of a five gallon plastic pail were released on to the ground" and that "a pungent odour was noted in the area of the spill".

The NEPA report, released on Friday, identified the refinery, located on Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston as the source of the odour, but did not identify the liquid spilled.

Paulwell, who returned at the weekend from a meeting of regional energy Ministers in Lima, Peru, expressed "grave concern" about safety and security practices at Petrojam, as this report of fumes emanating from the refinery is the second such this year.

Paulwell also echoed concerns of Minister of Land, Water, Environment and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill, who questioned why a full report was not made by Petrojam to NEPA about the incident last Wednesday when it happened.

"This is unacceptable, and I expect the full board, representing all shareholders, to investigate and take immediate action," Paulwell said.