Opposition spokesman on energy Gregory Mair is chastising the government amid reports that it has abandoned plans to introduce liquefied natural gas (LNG) to diversify the country’s energy mix and lower fuel costs.
Gleaner sources say energy minister, Phillip Paulwell, is expected to make the announcement in parliament early next month and that he may also announce a new plan.
However, in an initial response to a report in today’s Sunday Gleaner, Mair says the Portia Simpson Miller administration would be making a grave mistake, if it scraps plans to introduce LNG.
Contradicting reports that the cost for establishing the infrastructure was too costly, Mair says it was never the Government’s remit to bear the cost of setting up the infrastructure. He says the plan was always to allow the private sector to foot the bill.
Gleaner sources say the Government is likely to revert to plans B and C, which will see the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) being allowed to establish the LNG infrastructure and source the gas for the multibillion-dollar plant it plans to construct in Old Harbour, St Catherine.
As part of the plan, the JPS would also sell LNG to alumina producers which have long argued that the high price of electricity in Jamaica makes production uncompetitive.