Jamaica’s fuel choice for power generation !

The professional organisations of Jamaica have been such a disappointment in terms of their contribution to the provision of information to the people of Jamaica, which could also assist these folks with their decision making process.

One such organization is the Jamaica Institute of Engineers, which is supposed to be the premier engineering body in Jamaica and one which I believe can change the Jamaican landscape in a positive way.

For the last 10 -12 years, the government of Jamaica and by extension the people of Jamaica have been grappling with high energy cost, which has made goods produced here in Jamaica not very competitive or not as competitive as it could have been.

One of the major issues affecting this is the cost of energy in Jamaica, notice I said energy not electricity since energy is wider than just electricity alone.

We have politicians speaking about what needs to be done about energy cost.

We have businessmen giving thier own input

We have teachers, police, students and the average man on the streets speaking to the issue also,.

Missing from the discussion however are the people with the know it all, those with the expertise, which can take the discussions to a whole new level and that is the engineering community.

Why have the engineering community been so silent on this vexed issue, why has the JIE not issued in the last 10 -12 year a policy document on energy and why have they refused to take a lead roll in these discussions , when they are in the best position and would have been a voice on authority on this matter.

There are very good engineers here in Jamaica, in fact there are very good power generation engineers who have left the shoes of Jamaica to work for Florida Light and Power , Ontario Power and a host of other facilities around the world, so I know there is knowledge here. Why therefore have this group of professions chosen to be stone silent on this matter and have failed to create and publish a single document to guide the position.

A few weeks ago ESET produced its first report, which highlights a number of primary energy sources as part of the energy sector mix for power generation.

  1. LNG- Liquefied Natural Gas
  2. LPG- Liquefied Petroleum Gas ( Mixture of butane and propane)
  3. Ethane
  4. Coal
  5. Let’s add renewables to this also.

JPS , JPPC and JEP are floating the idea of using LPG for fuel generation before changing over to LNG.  Why would a company want to do two sets of conversion however one now to use LPG and then another change for LNG.

What are the likely changes in LPG for domestic purposes, should large scale use begin to take place in power generation.

Ethane is not a commercial viable primary energy source, there is no secondary market for this fuel, so why does Jamaica believe it can create a market out of this fuel.

The volume of LNG required for 380MW of power is relatively small in the scheme of things, thus making the price at which we can get this fuel above that of the market and other power generators

Why  the continued silence from the JIE ?

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One Response

  1. You left out nuclear – why is that? The Chinese had no problems building a 330MW plant for the Pakistanis. Seeing that our politicians enjoy begging the Chinese to do their governmental and capital-heavy functions, a Pressurized Water Reactor might be a good route – right?

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