Focus: Jamaica LNG Investments

The Business Year

October 11, 2017

The Jamaican government is pushing private investment in liquefied natural gas (LNG), to provide cheaper and cleaner energy to households and businesses. Through partnerships with local and international companies, New Fortress Energy is leading the way to ignite this sector.

In 2016, Jamaica's total electricity generation grew by 3.3% to 4,349.3GWh, although more than 80% of generation still relies on heavy-oil fuel energy plants. The government is pushing to diversify this energy mix and start using cheaper and cleaner energy.

But besides renewable energy sources, LNG is a strategic priority and the country is witnessing a number of major investments in this field.

New Fortress Energy, an energy company from the US, is the key player in the relatively young Jamaican LNG industry.

While LNG has high initial setting-up costs, LNG prices are deemed more competitive and less volatile than other fuels.

The introduction of LNG in the Jamaican energy mix could significantly reduce the cost of energy for households and businesses in the long run, improving the competitive position of Jamaican industries and providing better visibility for budget planning.

Besides, natural gas will reduce emissions and constitute an interesting complement to renewable energy. In September 2017, T'Shura Gibbs, Regional Director for Jamaica Public Service (JPS), the electricity distributor and leader in electricity generation, declared that by June 2019, 45% of the energy would come from LNG and 15% from renewables.

By then, the 190-MW Old Harbour power plant and 94-MW Jamalco plant will have been commissioned, joining the 120-MW Bogue power plant, which started operations in December 2016. The plant was converted from using solely automotive diesel oil (ADO) into a duel-fuel plant utilizing mainly LNG. New Fortress Energy invested over USD200 million in the construction of the LNG terminal...

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