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Minister invites applications for petroleum licences

Published:Friday | September 25, 2015 | 7:58 PM

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, Energy, and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell said his ministry is prepared to grant additional licences to accommodate new petroleum marketing companies and retailers, thereby increasing the number of operators in Jamaica.

This move, he said, is aimed at boosting competition among industry stakeholders, which would yield significant benefits for consumers in terms of product quality and prices. He is, therefore, inviting participation from more private sector interests.

Paulwell was speaking at Thursday's commissioning of Wisynco Group Limited's $200 million solar-energy plant at the entity's head office in Lakes Pen, St Catherine.

He noted the administration's commitment to facilitating competition in the petroleum trade, which he said, is evident in the more than 18 marketing companies currently operating in Jamaica.

"We want to expand it. We want to enable more players to participate," he said. "That's the reason why we have been granting licences for new marketing companies and retailers. What we are (aiming) to do is to ensure that the environment is right so that the competition will drive the quality of service and the prices that consumers have to pay," Paulwell said, adding that "there has to be greater vigilance on the part of our consumers".

The Wisynco renewable energy plant is currently the largest and first solar-to-high-voltage application to be developed in Jamaica.