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Cabinet approves LNG negotiations

Published:Tuesday | June 15, 2010 | 5:39 PM

Cabinet has given the go ahead for negotiations to begin with an international oil and gas shipping company for the development of a floating storage and degasification terminal in Jamaica.



The energy minister James Robertson made the disclosure in Parliament this afternoon.



The negotiations are being pursued with Belgian company Exmar, with the intention of reaching an agreement by the end of the year.



Robertson said the establishment of the terminal will make way for the introduction of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), as a cheaper source of energy, in the generation of electricity.



“The construction of the terminal is projected to cost US$300 million,” said energy minister James Robertson.



However, the energy minister said based on the 2009 proposal, the developer and not the government will be required to finance the project.



However, Opposition Spokesman on Energy Phillip Paulwell questioned how funds spent by the government will be recovered, in light of the fact that it will not have a stake in venture.



Robertson said several methods are being explored to address this issue.



The energy minister said the government is responsible for setting the regulator framework, through the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), for the operations at the facility.