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Paulwell to update Jamaica on JPS talks

Published:Thursday | August 16, 2012 | 8:49 AM

The government has announced that energy Minister Phillip Paulwell will shortly be making a statement on his discussions with the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS).

The talks with the JPS became critical after the Supreme Court ruled recently that the licence granting the company a monopoly on the transmission and distribution of electricity was not valid.

Yesterday, the Office of the Prime Minister dismissed concern that there was a conflict within the government regarding the liberalisation of the energy sector.

Questions were raised after the head of the liquefied natural gas steering committee, Dr Carlton Davis, told a Gleaner Editors’ Forum on Tuesday that a properly regulated monopoly is the best option for Jamaica.

Davis also said the breaking of the JPS monopoly on the transmission and distribution of electricity was not a position of the government.

His statement contradicted that of Paulwell who is on the record as saying he wants to break the JPS monopoly.

Meanwhile, Richard ‘Dickie’ Crawford, the founder of Citizens United to Reduce Electricity, which had taken the JPS monopoly issue to court, says the group is confused by developments.

He said he would be using a meeting on Friday to seek clarification on the government’s position.

But in the release sent to the media yesterday, the Government said the point of view of an advisor does not necessarily reflect a settled position of the administration.

It also said in the short-term, continuity of service must be ensure while it seeks to give the country the best chance of finding cheaper sources of energy and more affordable electricity.