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Licence for EWI needs to be strengthened, says Energy Monitoring Committee

Published:Wednesday | April 30, 2014 | 12:20 PM

The Energy Monitoring Committee says it has observed gaps that need strengthening in the amended licence issued to Energy World International (EWI) to construct a 381 megaWatt power plant in Jamaica.



The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) last night published the licence it recommended and the licence which was issued to EWI after amendments were made by Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell.



The documents have revealed that Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell removed from the licence a requirement for the company to provide an audited financial statement.



The licence recommended by the OUR was issued on April 4 and the document amended by the Energy Minister was issued to EWI on April 14.



In the first licence, EWI was required to provide a performance bond within 10 days of getting the licence



The bond is worth five per cent of the US$737 million cost to construct the 381 megaWatt plant.



The regulators had required Energy World International to submit its 2013 audited financial statements within 90 days after it was granted the licence.



The OUR had also required EWI to submit a financing plan detailing credible sources of equity and debt financing along with the letters of interest from reputable institutions within 45 days.



However, those requirements were removed in the final licence issued by Phillip Paulwell.



The requirement for a performance bond has been placed in the implementation agreement between EWI and the Government.



However, Co-chair of the Energy Monitoring Committee, Peter Melhado says that body has concerns about the removal of the requirement from the licence and will submit them to the OUR and Phillip Paulwell today.



Melhado says it would be useful for the OUR to publish the implementation agreement.



Melhado says the document would help bring clarity to issues that will arise from the viewing of the licences which have now been made public.



Meanwhile, the Energy Minister yesterday said a decision has been taken to allow the late payment by EWI of the US$36.85 million performance bond.



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