Equity needed in the pricing of heavy fuel oil from Petrojam
Opposition Spokesman on Energy, Gregory Mair, is pushing for a level playing field in the pricing of heavy fuel oil by Petrojam to the bauxite industry as against the Jamaica Public Service.
In his contribution yesterday to the Sectoral Debate in Parliament, Mair contended that players in the bauxite industry purchased heavy fuel oil from Petrojam for 15 per cent less than the state-owned oil refinery sells to the light and power company.
He said the government must ensure equality by giving the JPS, and by extension the consumers of electricity, the same status as the alumina/bauxite producers.
According to Mair the Bauxite and Alumina Industries [Encouragement] Act, exempts alumina and bauxite producers from paying customs duty or similar imposition on the importation of petrol fuel oil or diesel.
He explained that the heavy fuel oil used in the generation of electricity is purchased by JPS from Petrojam at a cost of some $6 billion per month.
Mair wants the crafting of legislation to impose stiffer fines on persons involved in the theft of electricity.
He suggested that the government sit down with JPS and agree on a clearly defined strategy for tackling the theft of electricity.
He noted that it was costing legal customers of the JPS about $3 billion annually for illegal connections.
The JPS is said to absorb a similar sum each year.
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