Current Affairs

Current Affairs




IDB backs Jamaica's Natural Gas plan
Jamaica Gleaner
Friday, September 20, 2002



THE Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has submitted a project proposal to the Japanese Trust Fund to finance Jamaica's feasibility study for the proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project.

The IDB is requesting US$1.5 million grant to prepare the feasibility study that will be managed by the bank. The Minister of Mining and Energy Anthony Hylton made the yesterday today.

The imported LNG is expected to initially replace the high sulphur fuel oil consumption in the bauxite/alumina and the power sectors. This would initially replace about five million barrels of oil in the power sector alone, thus reducing Jamaica's energy import bill by about US$30 million per annum.

The switch to the LNG by the bauxite and alumina sector would also bring similar kind of savings in its energy import bill.

The Government intends to construct an LNG terminal to receive the gas from the most economic source. At the moment, Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) is the only producer of LNG in the region. Earlier this year Minister Hylton visited Trinidad and Tobago to explore the possibility of LNG supplies to Jamaica from that country. Following his visit, the Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, Mr. Manning, made an announcement at the CARICOM Heads of Governments meeting regarding his country's commitment to reduce the cost of energy for the CARICOM partners by at least 30 per cent.

All the political parties have already endorsed the governments LNG proposal and the JLP has incorporated it in its election manifesto. The JPSCo, the bauxite companies, commercial and manufacturing interests have all expressed full support for the proposal.

The environmental community in Jamaica has also come out in support of the plan because of the positive environmental impact this project will bring to the country.