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Business leaders dissatisfied with Paulwell's explanation

Published:Monday | May 5, 2014 | 12:44 PM

Debbie-Ann Wright, News Editor – Radio

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The country’s three major private sector groups say the explanations provided by energy minister Phillip Paulwell regarding the 381 megawatt project have done nothing to allay their fears.

The Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica announced on Friday that they have withdrawn their members from the Energy Monitoring Committee.

They urged the Government to scrap the current process to construct the plant and rescind a licence issued to contractors, Energy World International (EWI).

Paulwell then issued a statement explaining why he made changes to the licence the Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR) had recommended should be issued to EWI.

He said it was completely within his right to do so and that he made changes because some of the clauses included by the OUR were unusual and would have caused EWI to abandon the project.

However, the three organisations say they remain concerned as these comments do not provide adequate responses to the four main points that led them to suspend their involvement in the EMC.

Among their concerns is that the amended license was substantially weakened; that EWI has failed to post their US37 Million performance bond within the required timeframe; and the Inter-American Development Bank’s unwillingness to finance the project.


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