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Azurest talks up bid for 360-megawatt plant

Published:Friday | August 16, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Leonard N. Enriquez, president of Cambridge Project Development Inc, addresses a press conference related to bids for the Government's 360-megawatt project at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in St Andrew yesterday. - Gladstone Taylor/ Photographer

Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer

Cutting the cost of electricity to half the current price by 2015 is among a slew of promises being touted by one of the companies seeking to become the preferred bidder for the much-anticipated 360-megawatt electricity-generating project.

On top of this, Azurest Cambridge Power has promised to also sweeten the deal with a US$1.5-million investment to go directly towards scholarships and international training for teachers, business ventures, and city beautification if it emerges successful in the bidding process.

Addressing a media briefing at the Terra Nova Hotel yesterday, managing director of Azurest Partners, Kenneth Allen, said the company had invested heavily into ensuring that Jamaica and the Jamaican consumer would reap big.

"Using United States gas, which is the cheapest gas in the world, allows us to pass on enormous fuel savings to Jamaican consumers and we think that we can take prices across the grid down by roughly 30 per cent. Whatever the (current) price is, we can take that down to north of 15 to 20 cents (per kilowatt-hour)," Allen said.

Currently, the cost of electricity to Jamaica Public Service (JPS) customers stands at approximately 42 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The firm pointed out that what would make its proposal stand out from the other bidders is the speed at which it would be able to construct its generating plant for the supply of the 360 megawatts of power.

Allen said if the OUR gives Azurest Cambridge Power the go-ahead, construction would begin from as early as the first quarter of next year. The facility, he said, should be fully operational in less than two years.

LNG barge proposal

Azurest Cambridge Power is proposing to use natural gas-fired power barges which would be fed with liquefied natural gas (LNG) from a fleet of smaller LNG supply vessels.

Its LNG would be sourced from suppliers in the US at "one-third the price of Trinidad and even less than other LNG sources".

The OUR recently received final proposals from four entities vying to construct the 360-megawatt power-supply plant.

The companies are Energy World International of Hong Kong, Optimal Energy Limited, Energise Jamaica Limited, and Azurest Cambridge Power.