Phillips Welcomes Fortress Energy Project

CLARENDON, Jamaica — Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips has welcomed the launch of natural gas company Fortress Energy and said this is an important development in the Energy sector of Jamaica.

Dr Phillips was speaking at a ground-breaking ceremony at the new JAMALCO plant in Hayes Clarendon yesterday.

“We welcome their investment, but also welcome their technical expertise and efficiency which will be of benefit to the Jamaican economy,” Dr Phillips said.

He emphasised that the ground breaking ceremony signals the introduction of liquefied Natural Gas as the source of energy for Jamaica’s Bauxite sector as well as for the industry as a whole.

The Opposition Leader said the development has come as a result of a decision of the previous Administration to shift Jamaica’s energy production and base-load generation from a reliance on Heavy Fuel Oil to include LNG and Renewables — including Solar and Wind Generation.

He said further that credit must also be given to Electricity Sector Enterprise Team  (ESET) chaired by Dr Vin Lawrence and including Dr Alvin Winters, who worked tirelessly to see the project to fruition.

This new Combined Heat and Power Co-generation facility will not only enhance Jamaica’s bauxite alumina industry, but also supply energy to the grid.

“Despite the reduction in costs, Jamaica electricity charges are still too high, if we are to become a competitive global manufacturing platform.” Dr Phillips asserted.

“We need to pursue our options with renewables — particularly Wind and Solar;  and tackle the issues of Technical and Non-Technical losses.”

Dr Phillips reminded the gathering that electricity theft is not mainly a ghetto problem “… we know from experience that theft extends to businesses and wealthy neighborhoods.”

Dr Phillips pointed out that action to deal with electricity theft seems to have slowed in recent times and the need for good governance structures is essential in building and maintaining reliable systems that work for all.