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International Finance Corporation (IFC) Official Praises Jamaica

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. Andrew Wheatley (left), with International Finance Corporation (IFC) Head of the English Speaking Caribbean, Judith Green (second left); IFC Regional Manager in charge of Central America and the Caribbean, Luc Grillet, and IFC Head of Blended Climate Finance, Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante, at the opening of the BMR Wind Farm in Potsdam, St. Elizabeth. Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. Andrew Wheatley (left), with International Finance Corporation (IFC) Head of the English Speaking Caribbean, Judith Green (second left); IFC Regional Manager in charge of Central America and the Caribbean, Luc Grillet, and IFC Head of Blended Climate Finance, Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante, at the opening of the BMR Wind Farm in Potsdam, St. Elizabeth.
KINGSTON, August 16, 2016- Regional Manager for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group, Luc Grillet, says Jamaica deserves high praise for its commitment to modernise and diversify its energy sector.

He said this is critical to a sustainable economic future, and that like many of its Caribbean neighbours, Jamaica is vulnerable to the environmental impacts associated with fossil fuel usage.

“These include rising sea levels, coral bleaching and change in the frequency of tropical storms,” he added.

Mr. Grillet, who has responsibility for Central America and the Caribbean, was speaking with JIS News at the BMR Jamaica wind farm opening in Potsdam, St. Elizabeth, on August 11.

He said his organisation is committed to assisting Jamaica in realising its goals, especially in the areas of power and infrastructure.

“The BMR wind farm supports Jamaica’s goals for ramping up renewable energy and transitioning to a clearer, more efficient energy matrix.  This helps the country’s competitiveness, while having a positive impact on climate change,” the Regional Manager said.

BMR Energy LLC is celebrating the start of operations of its 36-megawatt wind farm in Jamaica, the country’s largest private sector renewable energy project.

The wind farm is expected to reduce greenhouse gases by about 66,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, roughly equivalent to taking 13,000 cars off the road.

Mr. Grillet said that Jamaica has a growing reputation of being a good place to do business, and that of the US$1-billion investment portfolio the IFC has in the Caribbean, more than US$240 million or a quarter of it is spent on projects in Jamaica.

Meanwhile, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, said the BMR Jamaica wind farm will serve an estimated 15,000 customers annually.

“Power from the project will be sold to the Jamaica Public Service under a 20-year power purchase agreement. This electricity is expected to be among the lowest cost sources of power available on the JPS system,” he noted.

For his part, President of BMR Energy, Bruce Levy, said the company is delighted to be able to celebrate the start-up of the new state-of-the-art wind-generation facility and is “thankful for all the support received from the Government of Jamaica, the local community and our lenders”.

“We look forward to providing a source of clean, low-cost energy to Jamaica for years to come,” he said.