The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), in collaboration with the Caribbean Broilers Group (CBG), is undertaking the construction of a new power plant said to be a first for Jamaica’s energy sector.
By design, the project utilises various types of energy sources to optimise business, distribute better quality power to the national grid and to better the environment.
The plant, being constructed by JPS, is housed at “The Nest”, CB Group’s new agro-complex in Hill Run, St Catherine.
This combined heat and power generation plant not only makes energy more efficiently, but reduces carbon emissions by up to 30 per cent by using liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead of heavy fuel oils. Also, the exhaust heat that would normally go to waste will be converted into energy, which will reduce carbon emissions and contribute to the improved efficiency.
Other major benefits include JPS’ ability to improve its operational efficiency and reliability.
Speaking at a recent tour of the facility which is presently under construction, JPS President and CEO Michel Gantois noted that the project is an excellent innovation and that he hoped other companies would get on board and engage in similar collaborations.
“We are very happy to have collaborated with the CB Group to provide this solution for electricity and steam. They are very innovative customers with a high level of efficiency. They are doing a lot for Jamaica. We know that they could have pursued alternative sources of energy for their operations, but they decided to stay on the grid for the benefit of the country. And we laud them for that. This works for everyone,” Gantois pointed out. “We hope to be able to reproduce this success story for other customers in the months to come. We think there is great potential for this kind of solution JPS looks forward to engaging more organisations to create independent energy solutions for them,” further noted.
The CEO also pointed out that JPS has been on a mission to transform how it meets customers’ needs.
“What Jamaica will be seeing as we go forward is a renewed, more agile JPS that will delight customers at every level. We are humbled by the enormity of our role in supporting education, health, manufacturing, the service sector and just about every area of life in this country. We do not take this privilege for granted. We are innovating to meet your changing needs,” he emphasised.
CB Group CEO Matthew Lyn explained that CBG had taken the decision to remain on the grid, in the interest of all other electricity users, as well as to be a part of improving the network.
“After extensive research, we assessed all the pros and cons of coming off the grid and we concluded that staying on the grid was better for all of Jamaica. It is clear that if the major companies and manufacturers move away from our national power supply, residential customers will bear the burden of increased costs.
“JPS understood our sustainability goals, and worked hard to bring this idea to life. Less wasted energy will result in less carbon emissions which is a win-win for our environment, our operations and above all, the people of Jamaica,” Lyn said.
He continued, “Internally, we preach ‘Make a Difference’ every day and we wanted to live up to these words. So, we deliberately designed our new agro-complex with sustainability in mind and that meant being both environmentally responsible and energy efficient.”
The project represents a departure from the traditional business model, where customers receive power from the utility, in exchange for payment only, to one where the customer is a part of supplying the grid while benefiting from energy and cost efficiencies.