Jamaica News, Kingston: The Government is poised to generate significant savings from the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) implementation of the US$40-million Energy Management and Efficiency Programme (EMEP).
The initiative, which was launched during a stakeholders’ workshop at the PCJ Auditorium in New Kingston on Wednesday (May 30), is expected to yield a reduction of US$6 million per annum in government expenditure on energy consumption at the 80 health and educational entities shortlisted for its implementation.
The phased roll-out, which runs until 2023, will entail the infrastructural upgrading at these entities through the installation of energy-efficient equipment and technology.
Additionally, it will target improvement in the Kingston Metropolitan Region (KMR) traffic management system, which is projected to, among other things, reduce travel time by approximately 35 per cent, resulting in lower fuel consumption.
Speaking at the workshop, Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, said the public sector is “taking the lead” in relation to energy efficiency and conservation.
He argued that despite Jamaica’s moving towards diversification, “I believe that the ‘cheapest energy’ around is energy efficiency and conservation”.
In this regard, the Minister encourages Jamaicans to practise prudent energy management and conservation, even as the Government works to create a sustainable energy future for the country.
Meanwhile, Dr. Wheatley said the investment in improving the traffic management system under the programme also aims to enhance public safety and security.
“The urban traffic management system involves upgraded traffic controllers, CCTVs and communication switches at intersections to provide real-time traffic count and patterns, among other things,” he outlined.
The EMEP’s Programme Manager, Derian Jackson, said the project will make a significant contribution to Jamaica becoming more energy efficient.
He said the goal is to reduce consumption in the targeted beneficiary institutions by 50 per cent. These include 18 hospitals and health facilities and 20 schools.
Mr. Jackson advised that the PCJ will be partnering with the National Works Agency to implement an upgraded urban traffic management system within the KMR.
He said the programme is expected to assist in the reduction of the country’s carbon footprint, adding that training will be a critical component of the initiative.
The programme also aims to boost the Science, Energy and Technology Ministry’s expertise and capacity to complete an Integrated Resource Plan for Jamaica to guide the development of a modern energy sector.
The initiative is being jointly funded through loans totalling US$30 million from the Inter-American Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency, and a US$10-million grant provided by the European Union Caribbean Investment Facility.
The workshop brought together key stakeholders to discuss the EMEP’s objectives, expectations of the programme’s sponsors and donors, and the Government’s perspective on the programme’s anticipated outcomes.
Source: JIS News