Work is expected to begin tomorrow on the highly-anticipated Bogue Gas Conversion Project in Montego Bay.
The Jamaica Public Service Company, JPS, will officially launch the project tomorrow.
The 120-megawatt Bogue power plant is being converted to run on both Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, and Automotive Diesel Oil, ADO.
The plant currently uses only ADO, which is more expensive and more harmful to the environment than LNG.
It’s expected to result in lower electricity costs for consumers.
After years of waiting, Jamaica’s first major LNG project is finally to begin.
According to JPS, Bogue’s conversion will cost almost USD$23-million.
That’s just under 3-billion Jamaican dollars.
The bulk of that cost is being financed by JPS customers, through a special Bogue Plant Reconfiguration Fund.
The Office of Utilities Regulation, OUR, approved the fund in January.
It allows JPS to collect USD$15-million from customers over a 12-month period.
JPS says the project will add significantly to the country’s energy diversity, fuel security and flexible production of clean energy.
An American company, Fortress Energy, will supply the plant with LNG, following a deal signed in February which allows Jamaica and other Caribbean countries to access cheaper energy from the United States.
JPS has not disclosed the cost of the gas.
However, it indicated in January that it would cost as much as USD$65-million per year to supply LNG to the power plant.
JPS had also said that customers would benefit from the change almost immediately after the conversion was complete.
They said they expected some USD$70-80-million in savings per year.
JPS says the historic development will also be the catalyst for new opportunities.
These include the possible impact on the transportation and other commercial sectors.
There’s also the possibility of Jamaica becoming an LNG hub for the Caribbean, with the country being responsible for supplying the gas to the rest of the region.
However, the completion of that project has been delayed to the second quarter of next year.
It was initially scheduled to be ready for commissioning by the end of the first quarter.