Monique Grange, Assistant News Editor
Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell believes a mistake was made when the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), requested submissions for only Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), in the search for suppliers for the 360 mega watt power plant.
Paulwell believes if requests were made for other fuel sources, then the country would not be in this predicament with the OUR terminating the Jamaica Public Service Company’s 360 megawatt Request for Proposal (RFP) process.
That process would have facilitated the construction of a power plant that would ultimately result in lower electricity rates.
Paulwell says other energy sources must now be brought into the mix as the country cannot rely only on LNG.
In the meantime, Paulwell explains that the country’s reputation would have been damaged, if the government had not continued with the LNG project, noting that years ago the deal involving Belgiam firm, Exmar was aborted.
He has admitted that the country has been indecisive about an alternative fuel source.
However, the energy minister also maintains that the government made the right decision when it mandated the JPS to identify a supplier and manage the process of procuring LNG.
He says he is now awaiting a response from the OUR on the JPS’s revised submission on the 360 mega watt bid before deciding on the way forward.
The OUR is expected to provide a response by Friday.
Meanwhile, Paulwell has also expressed disappointment that the OUR made the information about the termination of the RFP process public before advising the government.
The JPS has said it is hopeful that the construction of the power plant will go ahead even outside of the original request for proposal process.
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