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Reduction Of 30% In Fuel Cost By 2018

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KINGSTON, Sept. 17 (Jamaica Information Service Press Release): Jamaica can expect a reduction of at least 30 per cent in fuel cost by 2018, resulting in savings on energy of US$350 million.

This is to be achieved through the implementation of several energy projects, which should begin from as early as 2015, and will include new baseload generating plants.

The Electricity Sector Enterprise Team (ESET) provided an update in its report on Jamaica’s baseload capacity, at a media briefing, held at the Office of the Prime Minister, today (September 17).

Outlining the details, Chairman, ESET, Dr. Vincent Lawrence, said several entities have presented proposals to build, own and operate new power generation and feedstock facilities, supplying electrical power to the national grid.

The entities include: the Jamaica Public Service (JPS), Jamalco and Alpart. He noted that several other entities have indicated their interest to supply feedstock and build power generation facilities, including renewable and fossil.

He noted that the JPS has proposed to convert, by 2015, the Bogue Power Station, Montego Bay, to burn gas; and replace the existing 292 megawatt HFoil power plants at Old Harbour and Hunts Bay with a 190 MW gas turbine plant, fuelled with liquid natural gas.

Dr. Lawrence said the proposals from Alpart include the development of a new gas facility in 2017. “We will also have to build all the transmission lines. A 138 kv interconnection line will have to be built in that area to tie in to the system,” he said.

By the following year, he said, it is expected that Jamalco will be on stream with their coal fired co-generation facility. “The plan is to bring coal from Colombia, which is low sulphur coal. The analysis shows that the emissions at the coal plant will be significantly less than the current emissions from the oil plant,” he said.

Dr. Lawrence pointed out that during the construction of these power plants, approximately 2,400 persons would be employed.
He said the benefits to be derived from the projects include significant improvement to the voltage stability, grid security, and lower technical losses.

“I think a lot of people in some areas may be quite happy about that, because some people aren’t experiencing the level of stability and grid security that they should be experiencing at this time,” he added.
The Chairman said the feedstocks of the new baseload power plants will result in lower plant stack emission levels, than the current high sulphur HFoil feedstock.

Dr. Lawrence noted that production cost at the alumina plants would be reduced which would make the plants more competitive in the global market, adding that people who work in the alumina industry would resume their jobs.

He said that ESET will now conduct further due diligence of the proposals to include: more analysis of the credibility of the fuel sources; financial proposals and development plans within the framework of the least cost expansion and integrated resource plans.

“We also plan to commission independent appraisals…to ensure that Jamaica receives value for the money, and we want support of our team in negotiations with the project sponsors, including JPS and the go-generational developers,” Dr. Lawrence said.

He pointed out that coordination will be done with the Office of the Utilities Regulation in engaging the prospective developers and JPS to formalise the terms of the generating licences and power purchase agreements.

The Chairman said the work of the team has been communicated to the Cabinet and the Leader of the Opposition.
The six-member team was established by Cabinet on June 2, 2014 and mandated to lead and manage several critical initiatives related to the replacement of baseload generating capacity and the review of sector related policy legislation.

The overall purpose of the team is to lead and manage a procurement process for the development of additional baseload generation capacity and related facilities in the short term, in order to significantly reduce the cost of electricity to consumers, while ensuring diversification in the fuel supply mix.

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Bahamas News

Over 68,000 STAYED HOME in Bahamas Elections; We have BEST and WORST for Voter Participation

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – The just-concluded General Election in Bahamas has presented a new shift in governance.  The former ruling part, Free National Movement, lost nearly all the electoral seats it secured in the 2017 general elections.  However, this seems a swap of the Progressive Liberal party’s score in the 2017 general elections in which the former ruling party (FNM) won nearly all the parliamentary seats.

68,000 STAYED AWAY

While the FNM secured 35 out of 39 seats in the 2017 ballot, leaving only four slots for the Opposition, the 2021 elections presented “new day” with the Opposition clinching 32 parliamentary seats, leaving the former ruling party FNM with only seven slots.

However, the election results showed a significant drop in voter turnout compared to the 2017 election results. Out of 194,494 registered voters in The Bahamas, only 126,414 voted, translating to 65 per cent voter turnout.

PREVIOUS ELECTION HIGHER

This was different from the previous election in which 160,407 out of 181,543 registered voters cast their ballots, translating to a remarkable 88.36 per cent voter turnout.

Being the first election in the island nation since the Covid-19 struck the Caribbean; the dismal voter turnout could be attributed to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in The Bahamas and the current countermeasures taken by individuals to avoid contracting the deadly virus.

It could also be voter apathy.

BEST IN SHOW

Despite coronavirus prevalence in the country, North Andros & Berry Islands, Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and Mangrove Cay & South Andros constituencies recorded an impressive voter turnout of 77.99 per cent, 76.11 per cent and 73.06 per cent respectively.

North Andros & Berry Islands had 2,126 out of 2,569 registered voters cast their ballots, followed by 1,255 out of 1,622 in Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and 1,706 out of 2,164 registered voters in Mangrove Cay & South Andros.

VERY LOW SHOW

The bottom three constituencies in terms of voter turnout include Bamboo Town, which had 3,436 out of 5,838 (58.63 per cent) registered voters cast their ballot, followed by Garden Hills with 3,033 out of 5,287 (57.09 per cent), and   Central & South Abaco falling at the bottom of the list with 1,844 out of 3,271 (55.96 per cent).

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COVID Works programme launched by Ministry of Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development

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#TurksandCaicos, September 21, 2021 – The Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development, the Honourable Akierra Mary Deanne Missick and the Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development team are pleased to announce the launch of the COVID WORKS Programme, that went live on September 1, 2021.

The Programme seeks to support many who have lost jobs and livelihoods, while providing labour intensive work for economic exchange opportunities for persons to be engaged.

Works are set out in three (3) levels and comprise a variety of categories example, cleaning, road works, demolition and general construction to name a few.

Level 1 – value $1,500 – $9,999

Level 2 – value $10,000 – $39,999

Level 3 – value $40,000 – $70,000

Turks and Caicos Islanders with valid business licenses are also being encouraged to submit proposals to the Public Works Department for consideration for works throughout the islands. 

Commenting on the launch of the programme, Hon. Missick said, “We are very much mindful of the impact that restrictions introduced by Government in an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, has had on the islands, many continue to experience financial hardship. Whilst, the hospitality and construction sectors in Providenciales have rebounded well, as an Administration, we cannot rest knowing that other industries are still limping along.

As a result, during the remainder of this financial year, the Turks & Caicos Islands Government has now launched the COVID Works Programme to provide an opportunity for Petty and Small Contractors to assist the Government in the enhancement of our communities, through programmed works, to the benefit of all of us as residents”.

The Minister went on to note, “This Programme is set to the tune of US$5,000,000.00, and works will be rolled out across the Islands in batches, as we have to ensure that we do not go beyond the allotted expenditure and that financial oversight and transparency are maintained.”

The initial batch of works for South Caicos, which comprised the following, was returned and evaluated on Monday, September 13, 2021 and included:

South Caicos 

Demolition- Queen’s Shed

Demolition- Distribution Concrete Tank

Demolition- Old Clinic Building

Demolition- DECR Building

Demolition- Library Building

Repair of Water Cistern

Works for Grand Turk included:

Grand Turk 

Demolition- Blood Bank Building

Demolition- Geriatric Ward Building

Demolition- Kitchen Building

Demolition- X-ray Building

All returning bids must be sent to the COVID Works email at tcigworks@gov.tc

Kindly note that as of Monday, September 20, 2021, the following works are planned to be released:

Grand Turk: 

Beach Cleaning (Eastern portion of Grand Turk)

Street Cleaning (All areas)

Providenciales:

Beach cleaning (Areas of Shore Club and Five Cays)

Street Cleaning (All areas)

A number of other works for Middle & North Caicos, as well as Salt Cay will be released shortly. This is a six month program that will spread throughout the TCI and we encourage persons to continue to register via tcigworks@gov.tc or the local Public Works Department and District Commissioners’ offices, to be eligible for this opportunity.

These works will continue on a monthly basis and the programme will come to an end in March 2022.

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Bahamas News

BAHAMAS: Nine new Cabinet ministers sworn-in

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis today introduced the first set of new Cabinet ministers with portfolios covering the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs, Education, Works and Public Utilities, Health and Wellness, Government Affairs, Agriculture, National Security and Legal Affairs.

The nine ministers were sworn-in on Monday 20 September 2021 by Governor-General the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith during ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Center.

“They are the initial members of a Cabinet which will reflect the breadth and depth of the competencies and characteristics of our team: experience combined with innovation; expertise combined with a willingness to see things anew; integrity and a strong sense of purpose,” said Prime Minister Davis.

“They are receiving these appointments because of their determination to get things done.”

Among the new Ministers sworn-in on Monday were:

  • Senator the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, Attorney General;
  • Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service;
  • Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education, and Technical and Vocational Training;
  • Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities;
  • Dr. Hon. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness;
  • Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Government Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate;
  • Hon. Clay Sweeting, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs;
  • Hon. Wayne Munroe, Minister of National Security; and
  • Hon. Jomo Campbell, Minister of State for Legal Affairs.

“I am confident that these first-appointed members of our Cabinet team are ready to deliver on the promise of a New Day for our Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Davis pledged to move with urgency to address the economic and health crises that are faced by The Bahamas.

Many thousands of Bahamians are out of work, people are losing too many loved ones to the COVID-19 virus and Bahamian schoolchildren are falling behind, said Prime Minister Davis.

“I want to be clear: we are not here to tinker at the edges of these problems,” said the Prime Minister.

“We are here to meet them head on.”

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