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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

Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

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Will US President Biden deliver on Climate Change funding?

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, October 1, 2022 – US President Joe Biden has reiterated his promise that low income countries, which are also low carbon emitters will receive increased climate aid from the US to the tune of $11 billion per year.

The President was speaking at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly recently where he maintained his administration was working with Congress to get the funds which would ‘help lower-income countries implement their climate goals and ensure a just energy transition.’

The plan was announced in September 2021 and is a reflection of the USA’s part in the 2010 global pledge made by developed countries to give $100 billion annually in climate financing to developing nations each year.  Biden has indicated that the plan will be in effect by 2024.

While he stressed at the UN that the need is ‘enormous’ the President is having trouble convincing lawmakers at home.  So far the funding which must be approved by Congress has not materialized. The United States Congress is known for having a particularly tight hold on the national purse in regards to climate change funding.

In fact congress dedicated only a little over $1 billion to climate change this year according to Bloomberg.  The US also has a history of promising funding for climate change but not delivering on those high priced promises.

Whether this $11 billion will actually get to nations like those in the Caribbean region is yet to be seen.

This year, the General Assembly heard from 190 speakers, including 76 Heads of State, 50 Heads of Government, four Vice-Presidents, five Deputy Prime Ministers, 48 Ministers and seven Heads of Delegations according to General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi as he summed up the first in-person General Debate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Caribbean News

Hurricane Ian impact on Cayman Islands

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, October 1, 2022 – The Cayman Islands experienced fierce winds and high seas from Hurricane Ian on Monday, as the storm passed offshore, causing little lasting damage.

Some areas on the island experienced flooding as low-lying condo complexes and some residential back roads were inundated with water. Almost 4,000 homes were without power on Monday; however, most had electricity restored by the evening.

There were also no reports of any injuries, deaths, or serious structural damage.  The country started its restoration process on Monday afternoon, clearing debris from the roads, surveying the damage and providing support to residents where needed.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, Premier of the Cayman Islands Wayne Panton said he was pleased with how residents handled the situation.

“While we have been very fortunate to have been spared the worst of a potentially very serious storm, I’m extremely pleased to have seen the efforts made by the Caymanian public to prepare for ‘the worst, while praying for the best. In this situation, this is simply the safest, most strategic thing to do,” the Premier said

Despite the all-clear being issued on Monday evening, the Ministry of Education announced that government schools will remain closed to students until Wednesday, 28 September.

Meanwhile, in Cuba, authorities have declared emergencies in six areas, with forecasters warning of storm surges on the coast along with flash floods and mudslides.

Tens of thousands of people were told to leave their homes and seek shelter. Cuba could see up to 12 inches of rain from Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Ian dramatically intensified and is blamed for at least two dozen deaths in Florida; where the storm struck with near category five force winds and a near 20 foot storm surge.

Over 700 rescue operations were activated in Florida in the aftermath of the storm, which is still wreaking havoc in the U.S.

 

Cayman photo credit:  RC Cord

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