$50 billion for new power plant
It is to cost the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) more than $50 billion to construct the 190 megawatt power plant at Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine.
Dan Theoc, the chief financial officer of the JPS, said yesterday that the utility company would be putting up 30 per cent of the amount and the remainder would come from the market.
"I am very excited to go raise that money for a project that is going to cost somewhere north of $50 billion, and so that does create a lot of work," Theoc said.
He said that given the amount of money being targeted, the JPS would have to look overseas to get money to finance the project. Along with Kelly Tomblin, the entity's president and CEO, Theoc said it was important that the JPS be able to attract funding from the market.
Tomblin yesterday revealed the JPS' worst-kept secret: that it intends to appeal the rate determination of the Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR), which has ordered a two per cent cut in rates.
"It is not what we want to do; we wanted to avoid an appeal," Tomblin said at a press conference in New Kingston.
She said that the appeal was very important as there are some 44 areas in which the OUR did not rule favourably for the JPS, and that the current determination would be an impediment to the utility company attaining world-class status.
"We are not appealing for a specific rate increase. We are appealing sound regulatory principles," Tobmlin said.
Theoc, meanwhile, said the JPS had been developing the power plant project for about 14 months. He said the company would spend the next nine months or so seeking to secure the financing for the project and fine-tuning areas such as the selection of suppliers for equipment and gas. He said the company expects to break ground for the power plant by the end of the year. Construction is expected to last 26 months.