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PCJ completes $73m AC upgrade project at May Pen Hospital

Published:Monday | May 13, 2019 | 12:10 AM

A $73-million air-conditioning overhaul carried out at the May Pen Hospital in Clarendon by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) should reduce electricity consumption by 20 per cent and shave approximately $5.2 million off the facility’s annual electricity bill.

The project was completed under the PCJ’s Energy-Efficiency and Conservation Programme (EECP) which finances investments in energy efficiency and energy-conservation measures in the public sector.

The multi-faceted intervention involved the installation of a modern, energy efficient cooling system which utilises a rooftop packaged system design at the Accident and Emergency Department, ensuring that this section of the facility meets the compliance standards for fresh air. Another cooling system was deployed at the offices of the Clarendon Health Department which are located on the hospital compound. In that instance, the system was equipped with a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) which maximises efficiency by adjusting the level of cooling according to building use and temperature conditions.

In addition, modifications were made to the chill water air-conditioning system serving the general hospital area. The changes included upgrading the pumps with variable-speed controllers, replacement of legacy air handlers with premium variable speed motors, and the implementation of web-enabled, remote monitoring capability through a state-of-the art building management system.

The successful completion of the project was marked by a handover over ceremony which was held at the Hospital on May 9.

In addressing the event, Brian Richardson, the PCJ’s acting group general manager, said, “We anticipate that the upgrades to the existing infrastructure and the new solutions installed will reduce electricity usage at the hospital, which should lower operational expenses. Also, we know that the improvements to the air conditioning have made for a more comfortable environment for the patients and a more productive work space for the staff.”

In his response, on behalf of the beneficiary, St Andrade Sinclair chief executive officer of the May Pen Hospital, said, “In regard to the Energy and Efficiency Conservation Programme Project sponsored by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, we are sincerely grateful for this monumental opportunity to improve the energy needs of the May Pen Hospital. We have come a far way, and it’s no doubt uncharted waters; but, already, we are seeing benefits with an environmentally friendly atmosphere for both patients and staff. We are happy for the improvements and hope this example will encourage NGOs, the private sector and members of our diaspora to follow suit and contribute to our hospitals and clinics.”


Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams, who delivered the keynote address, indicated that several similar projects would be undertaken in the current fiscal year as the Government of Jamaica continues to take a leading role in energy conservation.

“In 2019/20 the Ministry of Energy, through its agency, the PCJ, will be carrying out energy interventions at schools, hospitals, health centres and other public facilities across the country with a cumulative value of more than $1 billion, which not only reduce the national spend on energy, but will also allow us to extract more value out of every kilowatt of energy used at public-sector facilities,” she explained.

To ensure the sustainability of the investment at the May Pen Hospital, the EECP is financing a five-year service and maintenance contract to ensure the preservation of the equipment. In addition, energy-efficiency training was provided to enable the hospital’s property management personnel and other members of staff to devise and implement conservation measures.