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CMI signs MOU with SFPS

Published:Tuesday | May 29, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Lt governor of the State of Florida, Jennifer Carroll, gives the keynote address at the opening of the 11th Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference held at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Florida, last week. The conference examined the state and immediate future of the shipping industry in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Federick Whyte (left), managing director of Solar and Fire Protection Services Limited, and Fritz Pinnock, executive director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute, get ready to sign the memorandum of understanding between the two entities on May 11.


The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) has established a partnership with an alternative energy solution company to manufacture primarily light-emitting diode (LED) lights and solar PV (photovoltaic) panels for sale throughout Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Solar and Fire Protection Services Limited (SFPS) will collaborate with the institute as this is aligned with its objective of ensuring "the sustainability of the Jamaican environment and to ensure the safety of citizens - the Caribbean and the rest of the world". This joint venture was formally solidified through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on May 11 at the institute.

The MOU outlines that CMI and SFPS Ltd will conduct joint research in applied alternative-energy solutions and manufacture of a number of energy saving products such as solar electric power systems, LED modules and LED lamps, and solar panels, to boast energy-efficient lighting.

Project management

The project will be managed by the Business Productivity Centre of the institute's School of Advanced Skills. Through the school's existing specialised solar-training programme, the students will perform the actual manufacturing of the items while SFPS Ltd will provide support with the appropriate technology. Fritz Pinnock, executive director of CMI, believes that this initiative is a timely one, as it complements the institute's mandate to "teach students to become entrepreneurs as opposed to becoming employees". This will help to alleviate the strain of unemployment on the society.

The benefits of the project are many, but of priority is the knowledge students will gain from participating in the manufacturing of these products. They will acquire valuable experience, be exposed to state-of-the-art technology, and learn how to apply the benefits of renewable energy in their future businesses. Renewable energy does not contribute to pollution, and serves to protect the environment rather than destroying it. The continued use and misuse of conventional sources of energy has resulted in an exorbitant national energy bill that has depleted and continues to deplete our resources. This approach, adopted by the CMI, will highlight renewable energy as a source of great financial saving.

SFPS Ltd aims to change the perception of alternative energy solutions from one that is seen as a high-cost avenue, meant only for technologically savvy or affluent individuals, to an affordable alternative that has the added advantage of being environmentally safe and friendly. The company provides energy-saving products, fire-protection systems, consultancy, project-development services, and site surveying.