Where do we go from here regarding the energy project ?

By now all of Jamaica would have heard that EWI has lost its license, but did not lose any money in the process as the US$7.5M bid bond which had been posted, had expired, which meant , Jamaican lost money not EWI , well maybe plane fare and hotel accommodation.

In 2010 the LNG Project had become mired in controversy after Exmar was selected as the preferred bidder to construct a LNG storage and regasification plant in Jamaica. The Energy Minister at the time, Paul Robertson, would eventually have the project yanked from him and the entire process restarted with a change of scope.

Its now 2014 and we find ourselves in the very same position and must seriously ask ourselves, how on earth did we get here once again?

The common theme on both occasion was ministerial interference and our failure to follow OUR own established processes, yes OUR own processes.

On both occasions the OCG having looked at the process used and comparing that against our procurement policies and procedures found clear breaches , which compromised the entire bidding and eventually the selection process.

Once this has been identified, it opens the way for corruption to set in, which is certainly something that only keeps us way up on the Corruption Perception Index, which ultimately increases the cost of doing business.

There are some misguided persons who are contending that the OCG is the one holding back these Mega Projects in Jamaica and is standing in the way of development. I humbly beg to differ, in fact it’s the OCG which is preventing Jamaica from being seen as Rogue nation, where the rules, policies and procedures are ditched in the name of political expediency, paving the way for the entire process to be subjected to corrupt practices.

So back to the original question, where do we go from here.

One thing is clear, this project CANNOT and should NOT be left in the hands of a politician, instead a body of energy experts and professional both here in Jamaica and aboard should be selected and given responsibility for every stage of the process from the preparation of tender documents to the delivery of power to the national grid.

The ministers job ( Not Paulwell I hope) should be relegated to signing the license as described by the Electrical License Act and perform the roles as outlined in his general portfolio responsibilities, that is it.

Personally I do NOT believe this project should go again to tender, instead we should seek to engage well established energy companies overseas, who have the technical capacity and the financial standing to execute this project.

Companies that Jamaica should seek to engage as follows.

  1. NextEra Energy Inc ( Owner of Florida Light and Power)
  2. General Electric
  3. Wartsila ( if they would be interested at this stage).


There are others I am sure who the energy experts can point to .



One Response

  1. The project should go to the next bidder in line. They have the money and they are ready to go. There is no need to start all over again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: