Fri | Dec 9, 2016

JPS has option to invest in BMR Jamaica Wind project

Published:Wednesday | January 28, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Avia Collinder, Business Reporter

Renewable energy company BMR Jamaica Wind Limited will site its new wind farm on lands leased from the National Land Agency, totalling 35.2 hectares or 87 acres, according to project documentation on the 36.3 MW facility.

It will be located adjacent the existing JPS Munro Wind Farm in Elizabeth. The project had previously been studied by Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS), which agreed to sell "prior work products to BMR for their use in developing the new wind farm", according to the environmental impact assessment submitted to the planning authority, National Environment and Planning Agency.

"In exchange, JPS received certain payments and the option for JPS to invest in up to 20 per cent of the expansion project equity," the environmental report said.

JPS has not said whether it will be exercising the option. The officers who could provide an update were said by the power utlity's communications office to be to be unavailable.

At the US$89.7 million price cited as the project cost for the BMR wind farm, the Jamaican utility's equity participation could range up to US$18 million.

BMR Jamaica has already raised at least 70 per cent of the project cost under a package of loans backed by the United States, Canada and World Bank affiliate, the International Finance Corporation.

The package includes a senior loan of US$42.7 million from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC); another US$10 million senior loan from the IFC, and the other $10 million from the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program - totalling US$62.7 million.

BMR Jamaica is owned by: American Capital, which indirectly holds an 85 per cent stake; Bruce Levy through BLC Holdings Corporation of New York, which indirectly holds a six per cent stake; Andrew Rovito through High Tide Development Capital I Limited of New Jersey, with indirect interest of 4.5 per cent; and Pip Decker through Decker Holdings Corporation of New Jersey, with 4.5 per cent indirect interest.

The Companies Office of Jamaica cites the sole shareholder in BMR Jamaica Wind Limited as BMR Energy Jamaica Holdings Limited. The local company was incorporated on January 30, 2014.

"The BMR team brings more than 60 years of combined international energy infrastructure development and operational experience," said the IFC. Through BMR Energy LLC, which was founded in 2013, they are focused on acquiring, developing, investing in and managing power and energy-related projects in the Caribbean, Latin America and Mexico, the private sector financier said.

BMR Jamaica has a 20-year agreement with JPS to sell wind-generated electricity to the national grid. The wind farm was initially approved as a 34 MW project under Jamaica's 115 MW Renewable Energy Programme.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com