Thursday 20 June, 2019

New Fortress Energy breaks ground for 94MW LNG plant at Jamalco

United States-based New Fortress Energy (NFE), will on Friday, December 1 break ground for the construction of a 94 megawatt combined heat and power plant at Jamalco’s Halse Hall headquarters in Clarendon.

The plant, which will be powered by Liquified Natural Gas, LNG, is estimated to cost US$265 million (J$3.33 billion). Construction of the plant will take approximately 24 months with connection to the national grid is scheduled for December 2019.

More than 400 Jamaicans will be employed during the construction phase.

Founder and chairman of New Fortress, Wes Edens, made the announcement recently.

The development has been in the pipeline for a while as Cabinet had given its approval from as far back as June, 2016. The Jamaican government has a 49 per cent stake in Jamalco.

Addressing the first ever natural gas conference in New Kingston in October, Finance Minister, Audley Shaw, said the government was well aware that the price of oil, particularly in the generation of affordable electricity, is a major challenge to economic growth and job creation. As such, turning to LNG was of particular importance.

"For us to create efficient and profitable industries, create jobs and achieve competitiveness in the global economy, we must reduce this burden (the high price of oil) on our manufacturers, our businesses and our people," Shaw told the conference.

In announcing the development, Edens expressed confidence that Jamaica will become a model for the region and the world as the country embraces renewables and the introduction of LNG.

Edens said that Jamaica and the wider Caribbean are ripe for investment, a point he stressed at the inaugural natural gas conference in October.

Among those down to attend Friday morning’s groundbreaking ceremony are Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Energy Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley, Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips and executives of New Fortress Energy among other dignitaries.

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