Government Signs Loan Agreement for EMEP
The Government has signed a loan agreement for US$15 million with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to assist with the cost of rolling out the Energy Management and Efficiency Programme (EMEP).
The contract was signed at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service in downtown Kingston on November 10 by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw; and General Manager, Country Department, Caribbean Group, IDB, Therese Turner-Jones.
An initiative of the Government, the EMEP has been designed to promote and facilitate energy efficiency, security and conservation engagements within the public and private sectors, and reduce the dependence on imported fossil fuels.
It is being initiated as the ideal programme that will strengthen efforts being made by the Government to diversify the energy mix in creating a modern, efficient and environmentally sustainable energy sector.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Shaw said the EMEP is estimated to cost the Government approximately US$30 million and will be financed by both the IDB and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
“Additional resources of approximately US$10 million in grant funding will also be provided by the European Union Caribbean Investment Facility (EUCIF). The second co-financing loan agreement for US$15 million from Japan is scheduled to be signed on November 23, and the grant financing agreement of US$10 million between the Government and the European Union is expected to be signed shortly thereafter,” the Minister said.
Mr. Shaw said the EMEP is important for the nation to reduce its dependency on imported fossil fuels.
“Jamaica has experienced significant challenges with the high costs associated with the provision of energy solutions to the largest users within the Jamaican economy, including the ministries, departments and agencies of the Government. The Energy Management and Efficiency Programme is the ideal project that will strengthen the efforts being made by the Government to diversify its energy mix to create a modern, efficient and environmentally sustainable energy sector, as well as reduce the dependence on imported fossil fuel,” he pointed out.
Statistics have shown that an estimated annual average of 20.4 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) were imported during the 2010-2015 period for use in the electricity, manufacturing and transportation sectors, with an average import value of US$1.9 billion.
“The objective of the EMEP is to bolster the Government of Jamaica’s efforts in the areas of energy efficiency and energy conservation through the design and implementation of measures targeting key government facilities, as well as fuel conservation in road transportation to reduce the demand for fuel imports,” the Minister explained.
He said the goals of the EMEP are consistent with the Vision 2030 plan as outlined in relation to National Goals, which speak to ‘Energy Security and Efficiency’ and ‘Sustainable Management and Use of Environmental and Natural Resources’, and include solar and wind energy.
The EMEP will comprise three components. Component one consists of retrofitting the Health, Education and Public Agency (HEPA) government facilities. This component will target energy efficiency and conservation measures in 73 HEPA government facilities, comprehensive retrofits in 23 government facilities and light emitting diode (LED) lighting retrofits in 50 facilities.
Component two involves the implementation of an Urban Traffic Management System (UTMS). This component will finance the purchase and installation of equipment to complete the UTMS in Kingston, which includes a central control platform for traffic monitoring, upgraded traffic controllers, closed-circuit television cameras and training of National Works Agency (NWA) staff.
Component three focuses on support for electricity planning. This component will provide the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology (MSET) with additional expertise and system capacity, and, in particular, training, contracting of technical experts in energy efficiency, and demand side management and technical studies to support the implementation of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP),
Meanwhile, Mrs. Turner-Jones said her organisation is pleased to be partnering with the country to fund EMEP.
“Today is a great moment because it not just focuses on energy efficiency in bringing $7 million worth of savings to your budget every year. We see this as one really small component in terms of what the bigger energy plan and policy for the country will deliver over time. A large portion of Jamaica’s import bill goes to importing fuels, so, right now, that’s heavily weighted on heavy fossil fuels. Jamaica really is the country that is setting the pace for reforms,” she said.