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Cabinet taking steps to revoke EWI's licence

Published:Tuesday | May 6, 2014 | 3:34 PM

Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell has confirmed that the Cabinet is now taking steps to revoke the licence granted to Energy World International (EWI) for the construction of a 381-megawatt energy plant in Jamaica.



He announced in parliament a short while ago that he has been mandated to consult with the Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR) in relation to the revocation of the licence.



Paulwell also announced that an enterprise team chaired by Dr Vincent Lawrence will oversee the project.



The energy minister also indicated that the Government is still maintaining the 2016 timeline for the construction of the plant and he said the enterprise team has been instructed to ensure this happens.



The enterprise team will report to Cabinet.



Paulwell further says the country is to be given regular updates on the project.



Paulwell also says EWI's proposal has set the benchmark of US 12.88 cents per Kwh for the new generating capacity.



The decision to revoke the licence was made after EWI failed to meet yesterday’s deadline to post a US$36.85 million performance bond.



The instruction to withdraw EWI's licence came just a week after the company issued a statement saying it had deposited the US$36.85 million for its performance bond to its Hong Kong bankers.



EWI has explained that it was late in depositing the money with its bankers because of what it says were circumstances beyond its control.



Energy World International was expected to post the bond by April 24, that's 10 days after it received the licence for the energy project.



In its statement, Energy World did not disclose the circumstances that caused the late deposit but the Inter-American Development Bank has confirmed that it has pulled out of any process to help to finance EWI.



EWI was selected for the project after the first-choice bidder, Azurest Cambridge, failed to meet a deadline to pay the initial bond.



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