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Bauxite companies in Jamaica warn against sole dependence on LNG for fuel

Steel News - Published on Sat, 18 Aug 2012

Jamaica Gleaner reported that Jamaica\'s powerful bauxite and alumina partners have warned that it would be a mistake for Government to rely solely on natural gas as an alternative fuel source and is urging the Government to adopt a diversification strategy that includes coal, compressed gas and renewables.

According to executives at UC Rusal and Jamalco two rivals who declared themselves 100% aligned on the issue at a Gleaner Editors\' Forum, Further diversification would mitigate fuel price fluctuations. The bauxite and alumina sector is the largest consumer of energy.

Jamaica is sold on the need to add renewable fuels to its energy mix. But it has settled on liquefied natural gas as the chief alternative to oil in the generation of electricity. The bauxite companies continue to raise coal as another alternative with lukewarm reception from Dr Carlton Davis who said coal was not affordable and that the financing required was 5:1 compared to LNG.

Jamaica is currently negotiating terms with preferred bidder Samsung on the development of LNG infrastructure. The LNG project is meant to cut the price of electricity by 40% which would translate to a drop in price to consumers from USD 0.40 per kilowatt hour to USD 0.25 cents.

Ms Chris Zacca president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and head of its energy committee said that Jamaica previously reviewed a compressed natural gas proposal but choose LNG due to concerns about transporting the highly pressured gas over large distances.

Mr Davis said that this week, the Government will negotiate the purchase price of LNG with international bidders but the entire deal could fall through if major stakeholders including Jamaica Public Service Company, set to build a major LNG plant, and alumina players reject the price.

Mr Jerome Maxwell MD of Jamalco said that the forum that coal and biogas were options in addition to LNG but he did not totally embrace coal, saying its carbon emissions are a complicating factor for parent Alcoa and that not all systems at the Clarendon based Jamalco plant run on coal citing the calciners.

Mr Maxwell said that \"If everybody in the world converts natural gas and no one uses fuel oil for then what happens is the price of fuel oil would probably drop to almost nothing. It\'s no different from investing in your own personal financing, you want a diversified portfolio. So you can survive through the good and the bad.”

Source - Jamaica


Posted By : admin on Sat, 18 Aug 2012
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