Jamaica - Energy and power

Jamaica has no coal deposits and very little hydroelectric potential. Oil and gas exploration begun in 1981 had produced no results as of the mid-1990s. Electricity is the main source of power and is almost all generated by steam from oil-burning plants. In 2000, the total amount of electricity generated by public and private sources was 6,200 million kWh, of which 89.4% was from fossil fuels, 3.2% from hydropower, and the remainder from other sources. Consumption of electricity in 2000 was 6.3 billion kWh. Installed capacity was 1.3 million kW in 2001. As of 2002 blackouts still occurred from lack of capacity. In 1977, the government granted the Jamaica Public Service Co. (JPS) a 40-year franchise as the sole supplier of public power. In 1993, however, JPS entered into a $23.2 million contract with a US firm to build a 35,000–kW generator, whose ownership would be transferred to the private sector under the Energy Sector Privatization Program of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Some large enterprises, such as the bauxite companies, and the sugar estates generate their own electricity. In 2001, US-based Mirant Corporation acquired 80% of JPS.

In 2001 Jamaica stated its intention to start replacing fuel oil with natural gas as the primary energy source for its power plants and for the bauxite and alumina industry. Jamaica has made a few ventures into alternative sources of energy, but these are still minor relative to overall demand. A large solar water-heating plant was opened in 1981, and the Agency for International Development (AID) has helped finance a $33.3-million power plant, also using solar energy. In 1985, Tropicana Petroleum of California and Shell invested us$23 million in an ethanol plant (mostly for export to the US) at Kingston, using sugarcane as raw material.

Since 1945, when Jamaican manufacturing was confined largely to processing agricultural products and making beer, clothing, and furniture, the industrial sector has grown and diversified considerably. The island now produces a wide range of goods, including mineral fuels and lubricants, fertilizers, steel, cement, and agricultural machinery, along with footwear, textiles, paints, building materials, and processed foods. In the 1980s, the government emphasized manufacturing for export, rather than for import substitution alone. The textile industry was specifically an export business, but the 1994 NAFTA agreement forced the closure of most garment factories in Jamaica. A lime processing factory was slated for operation in 1999.

Also read article about Jamaica from Wikipedia

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Apr 22, 2009 @ 9:09 am
this website was very helpful. i appreciate all the help that you have given. thank you very much.
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Sep 8, 2009 @ 2:14 pm
The info from this website was just what I was looking for. I am looking forward to more on the topic - "Jamaica - Energy and power". Thanks.
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May 11, 2011 @ 8:08 am
I need help, I have been researching globally, to see if any company, would like to step in and help out the Jamaican situation with regards to gas and electricity! Because there is no competion,these company charge what they feel like charging, hence leaving individual to break the law by stealing ie, electricity! one because they can't paid for it and two, because they have to pay a connection fee! There must be something we can do.

Any help and idea is most welcome.


G. Langley
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Feb 16, 2019 @ 1:13 pm
Good day, I can't see where in the island of Jamaica the form of energy (electric) is produced. Unfortunately, I only saw who the producer of the energy was.

Thank you!

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