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Energy efficient power plant begins commercial operations in Jamaica

A 194-megawatt natural gas power plant began commercial operation in St Catherine, Jamaica today, December 24.

The plant was commissioned by the South Jamaica Power Company (SJPC), an affiliate of the country’s electricity distributor, Jamaica Public Service Company (JPSCo).

The plant came into operation on Tuesday, December 17 and has since been undergoing reliability testing at its Old Harbour location, next to the old JPS Power Station which will be decommissioned next year.

“The plant will generate electricity using natural gas in a more efficient manner than any other plant in the country. The new plant will play a critical role in improving power supply reliability.”

– The Jamaica Public Service Company

Ground for the plant, which can provide energy for some 300,000 homes, was broken in March 2017 and built at a cost of US$330 million. Since being commissioned, the plant has provided continual clean and efficient power to the nation’s grid, the JPSCo said today, adding that it is now “the most efficient fuel burning power producer in the country.”

In addition to providing electricity supply to the grid, the plant will also replace several generating units that use Heavy Fuel Oil and which have been around for about 50 years.

Adding more renewable energy to the grid will help to lower generation costs, said the JPS.

“The plant will generate electricity using natural gas in a more efficient manner than any other plant in the country. The new plant will play a critical role in improving power supply reliability. This plant will provide cleaner energy than the older plants that it will replace,” the JPSCo said.

According to the power company, the integration of renewable energy sources and improved technology will help to lower the cost of generating electricity and the country’s exposure to unpredictability in world oil prices.