$20 Billion Invested In Renewable Energy Sector
MONTEGO BAY, Nov. 9 (JIS): Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, said Jamaica has attracted an investment of over $20 billion in renewable energy projects, which is creating jobs for thousands of Jamaicans, while diversifying the energy sector.
“Our business as a Government going forward is to create jobs. We have the skill sets here where we are going to train our people where in time, all the jobs are 100 per cent occupied by Jamaican workers,” he said.
The Minister, who was speaking to JIS News during a tour of the 36.3-megawatt BMR Jamaica Wind Farm in Malvern, St. Elizabeth, last week, said the projects are in keeping with the Government’s push to lower the cost of electricity for Jamaicans.
“We have promised the people of this country that we are going to do everything we can to lower our energy bill. Now we have BMR here with an investment of nearly $11 billion, the Government has an additional investment in Wigton III in Manchester for over $5 billion and another investment in a 20-megawatt solar facility…the largest in the Caribbean…in Clarendon for nearly $6 billion,” he pointed out.
He noted that the projects have put the country on track to be the leader in the region in the gross production of renewable fuel, and have bolstered the Government’s target of 20 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
“While the objective is to have 20 per cent renewable energy… I think it is not far-fetched that we could take that up to 30 per cent,” he said.
Mr. Paulwell noted that reliable sustainable energy will help the country to make important progress towards energy security.
“Energy security is the great game changer. We should all understand and appreciate the significance of what is happening. These are real solid investments that will impact on our long-term future and security. These are real exciting times for Jamaica,” he added.
Mr. Paulwell said that with Jamaica’s improved business ranking, investors are now realising that the country is a good place to do business, and going forward, the Government will be doing constant reviews of its position with the aim of attracting more energy projects.
BMR Jamaica Wind Farm, on completion, will be the single largest privately funded renewable energy project in Jamaica and one of the largest in the Caribbean. It is slated for completion by the end of March 2016.
Expansion of the Wigton Windfarm (Wigton III) is expected to cut oil imports by 37,000 barrels per year, and achieve annual savings of more than $200 million. Some 31,500 households will benefit from the US$45 million project, on which operations are expected to start in early 2016. A total of 125 jobs are to be created during the construction phase.
WRB, the Tampa, Florida-based developer, which is undertaking the 20-megawatt solar facility in Clarendon, is promising to deliver clean, reliable, renewable energy at a stable price to Jamaicans for decades to come.
The facility will power more than 20,000 homes while reducing fuel imports by more than three million gallons each year.
Three Days to NIB Rate Increase for 2023
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, March 29, 2023 – On April 1st, the second round of increases on contributions at the National Insurance Board will kick in for the Turks and Caicos workforce. Announced last year, the increases were instituted to keep the NIB from running out of money by 2027 as it services a population that is living longer with contributions that had not been increased in 30 years.
As the Government’s new financial year begins, increases at NIB will mean a higher cost for doing business and a higher cost for running the Government.
The private sector is expected to pay contributions at a rate of 11 percent on your taxable income. The hike is up from last year’s 10 per cent; six percent of which is to be paid by the Employer and five percent is to be paid by the Employee. For wages of $2000, this will mean a $200 improvement in income per month to the NIB. As for the burn on residents’ pockets, based on a minimum wage of $1200 monthly salary, that’s at least $60 dollars a month and $720 per year.
Public sector rates will move to 10.15 percent up from 9.15 per cent with the worker paying 4.575 per cent and the Government paying 5.575 per cent; that’s $54 a month and $648 a year at minimum wage.
The NIB rate as of April 1, 2023, will jump to 9 percent for self-employed individuals; For self-employed individuals at minimum wage, that is $108 dollars a month or $1296 per year.
As taxable incomes increase so will the contribution.
The increases follow a 2019 Actuarial review, undertaken every three years, which unearthed that the NIB was facing a dismal future, possible collapse. Contribution rates were growing at a rate much slower than NIB expenses, which included beneficiary payouts. On that trajectory, the NIB’s earnings would be eclipsed by its income by 2027, forcing the worker protection plan to draw down on money saved for economic shocks like Covid-19.
Unsurprisingly, this was deemed untenable, and an immediate increase was recommended.
Despite this scramble to boost earnings, the NIB has simultaneously increased payouts. Payouts for pensions, funeral grants, maternity grants and more will all attract bigger sums.
These incremental increases on contributions and payouts were all consultant recommendations, informed statements from the Board.
Work of NAECOB critical in ensuring high standards in education, says Minister Hanna-Martin
Bahamas Golden Jubilee Events Announced, Celebrations Across 33 Islands & Cays
#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – As the 50th anniversary of our nation’s independence approaches, Bahamians everywhere are teeming with excitement and expectancy around the year-long celebrations set by The National Independence Secretariat.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister joined H.E Leslia Miller Brice, Chair of The National Independence Secretariat to unveil the Calendar of Events for the 50th Independence celebrations.
The calendar comprises a host of events, initiatives and recommendations for celebrations throughout all 33 islands of The Bahamas.
At this jubilant occasion the PM stated, “Celebrating independence is about acknowledging the greatness around us, the greatness within us, and the greatness ahead of us.
We are Bahamians. That identity is special.”
View the newly released calendar of events here:
FIND US ON FACEBOOK
Caribbean News7 days ago
TCI Moving to Catch Up in Clean Energy Race, attends CDB Conference
Health1 week ago
ChikV is back! The Americas see sharp increase and nearly 100 deaths
Uncategorized4 days ago
Lifting of COVID Vaccine Mandate is ‘Game Changer’ for Tourism & Real Estate says Christie’s
Uncategorized1 week ago
Banks fail, causing ripple effects but what of the Turks & Caicos banking security
Uncategorized6 days ago
Uton Graham, Bars Manager at BTC masters his mix with training the next generation
Uncategorized6 days ago
United States Works to Combat Gun Trafficking in the Caribbean Region
Uncategorized6 days ago
BTC Celebrates International Women’s Day, Embrace Equity
Uncategorized4 days ago
JAMAICA: Tourism Ministry to Embark on Islandwide Consultations