Montague Calls for Timelines for JPS Energy Project
Opposition Spokesman on Mining and Energy, Senator Robert Montague, has said that it is not enough for the Electricity Sector Enterprise Team (ESET) to announce proposals for improving the energy sector, without providing timelines and implementation plans for the projects.
Senator Montague was responding to the recent announcement by ESET, chaired by Dr. Vincent Lawrence, that Cabinet has approved proposals from the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Company to construct a 190-megawatt gas turbine in Old Harbour, St. Catherine.
Mr. Montague noted that while the Opposition welcomes any decision that is aimed at improving the electricity service and reducing energy costs, it has become necessary for these announcements to be accompanied by timelines and implementations plans, in order to give the projects the credibility, particularly in light of the recent failures to achieve planned targets.
He said ‘While the Opposition commends the members of ESET, for their public service and work, we are demanding the publication of the country's Integrated Resource Plan for the energy sector, immediately. It is the provisions of this plan that should guide the timelines of the announced projects. He went on to insist, "We need these timelines so that as a responsible Opposition, we can monitor, on behalf of the people the progress of the projects. This Administration, came in to power on a commitment to lower electricity rates, we wish to hold them to that.”
He emphasized, “The public is tired of announcements from the government and its agencies and teams about plans and projects to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs, which fail to materialize, The situation is so bad now, that it is hard to keep track of these announcements, until we learn that the projects are either still evolving or has been abandoned for some reason or the other.”
The Opposition spokesman said that since the announcement on Tuesday, February 03, at Jamaica House, there has been no update from ESET , whether it has fulfilled its commitment to send a letter to the JPS, within a week, authorizing them to proceed with the 190 - megwatt generating plant; further, there has been no indication from JPS, that they have received such correspondence.
Montague noted in closing that while it was good to be finally hearing from ESET, after the 381 Megawatt Fiasco, it was time for more convincing information on the recently announced energy projects.