THE EDITOR, Sir:
This is an open letter to Minister of Energy Phillip Paulwell.
At the Azurest/Cambridge Partners Press conference Wednesday, the successful bidders said that two of the most important immediate considerations are to 1) garner the necessary financing for the project, which they say they are confident of doing and their credentials and arrangements for this appear to be good; and 2) to have the Jamaica Public Service Company sign the power-purchase agreement so they can move forward as rapidly as possible.
Citizens United to Reduce Electricity (CURE) notes that this new arrangement will, in effect, void the exclusive monopoly control of the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), as some 80 per cent of future generated capacity will be supplied by Azurest/ Cambridge Partners and Jamaica Energy Partners. They will, however, have no control over the grid, nor the distribution of electricity, or other facets of managing the electricity supply for Jamaica, according to the agreements that they will have with the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR).
CURE, therefore, wants to know what steps will be taken to guarantee that these services will be of the highest possible standards?
Additionally, CURE wants to be assured that the power purchase agreement will be signed by JPS as fast as possible and that there will be no bureaucratic impediments whatsoever in the way to delay the process.
CURE also wants to be assured that the Government of Jamaica (GOJ), which is part-owner of JPS, will play a very aggressive role in protecting Jamaica's interests and ensuring the success of this new partnership.
So we call upon the GOJ once again to ensure that the invalid, exclusive monopoly licence which is being contested in the courts by JPS, the OUR and Government be dispensed with to fully protect the customers and investors of the JPS.
CURE sees this as the time for new arrangements to be put in place to cover the operations of the JPS and the OUR and to streamline Jamaica's energy industry and rid ourselves of the possibility of any one company holding the country to ransom in any way in the future?
Our lobby looks forward to an immediate response to these concerns and a bright new day for Jamaica.