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JPS to investigate low voltage in Newport West... Aims to build a stronger relationship with the community

Published:Tuesday | May 15, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Lloyd Smith (right) voices his concerns with regard to the supply of power to the port community by the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited. Also in the photograph are (from left) Vincent Vassell, operations manager - Harbour Cold Stores, and Vilma Davidson, general manager - Harbour Cold Stores. Members of the Shipping Association of Jamaica met with a team from the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited to have their issues concerning the light and power company addressed last Wednesday. The meeting was held at the offices of the SAJ.
JPS team members listen attentively to concerns raised by members of the Shipping Association of Jamaica during a special members forum held last Wednesday. From left: Daffodil Bruce-Miller, community relations officer; Veronica McCurdy, regional manager, customer care - Kingston and St Andrew; and Craig Francis, regional manager, operations and maintenance.
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The Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) will be investigating reports of low power voltage in the Newport West shipping community. This follows a meeting with members of the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) last week.

At a special members meeting held on May 9 at the SAJ's offices, members of the SAJ raised the issue of low power voltage in the community, which they say has led to the damage and loss of electrical equipment on their premises.

Roger Hinds, SAJ president, implored the JPS to give the community special attention in the interest of national development.

"Shipping is an essential service so I believe that the JPS should take into consideration the nature of our business and address us accordingly," Hinds said.

Craig Francis, regional manager - operations and maintenance, JPS, said the matter would be thoroughly investigated.

"What I can promise here is that I'll do a very thorough investigation where this is concerned with a view to bringing some sort of resolution to the problem," Francis said.

He added that one of the things the JPS will be doing differently, is to keep the SAJ abreast of what it is that the light and power company is doing to find a solution to the problem.

Trevor Riley, general manager of the SAJ, welcomed the approach by the JPS team, noting that in the past work had been done in the community, but that members were not aware of what was being done.

"I am happy with the approach you're taking, not just fixing the problem, but giving us an update on your solution," Riley said.

With regard to the damage of equipment, Veronica McCurdy, regional customer care manager - Kingston and St Andrew, encouraged members who have been affected to submit claims letters to the JPS upon which these claims will be investigated.

She, however, noted that there was a 30-day time frame within which these claims must be submitted.

In addition to its planned investigation into the power supply to Newport West, the JPS team said its aim is to build a stronger relationship with the shipping community.

McCurdy said the meeting with the members of the SAJ was a start in that direction. She said the light and power company would be developing a relationship with the SAJ to address the issues facing the community over time.

To investigate

On the issue of non-functioning street lamps in the community, the JPS team said they would also conduct an investigation into the matter. The issue was raised by Marjory Kennedy, director, Jamaica Freight and Shipping Company. Kennedy said employees of companies operating in the community have been victims of robberies as a result of darkness in some areas of the community.

Francis, in response, advised the members of the options they had to report issues with street lighting.

"Where street lights are concerned, we have a protocol set up, one in which the residents can engage the political representative, a list is then compiled and submitted via the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation," Francis informed.

"Another approach is that persons can call in to the customer care centre, once that is logged on our system, then we have 14 working days to have that lamp rectified," he added.

He emphasised that the company can be held to the 14-day response time.

Addressing questions regarding JPS' plans to reduce the cost of electricity, the team made reference to the plans for the new 350-megawatt plant in Old Harbour, St Catherine which will be powered by liquefied natural gas.

This, the team said, will result in a 30-40 per cent reduction in electricity costs. The new plant is to be completed by 2014.

 

CAPTION: Lloyd Smith (right) voices his concerns with regard to the supply of power to the port community by the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited. Also in the photograph are (from left) Vincent Vassell, operations manager - Harbour Cold Stores, and Vilma Davidson, general manager - Harbour Cold Stores. Members of the Shipping Association of Jamaica met with a team from the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited to have their issues concerning the light and power company addressed last Wednesday. The meeting was held at the offices of the SAJ.