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Jamaica's business leaders urge PM to set up public/private committee to monitor energy project
2013-10-06 18:28:05 | (0 Comments)
Three of the island's main business groups have expressed concern about the selection of a suitable contractor to build the government's new 360-megawatt power plant and is urging the prime minister to establish a public/private monitoring committee to oversee the process.
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In a media release this afternoon, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica all said they were concerned with the process by which the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has gone about selecting a suitable contractor to build the new energy plant.
The OUR has selected Energy World International as the preferred bidder to construct the new energy plant that has been touted as a solution to lowering Jamaica's high energy costs.
This is after the initially selected bidder, Azurest Cambridge, failed to meet Friday’s deadline to post the US$6.9 million bond as required by the OUR.
"As a result, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) and Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), are calling on the Prime Minister to appoint a joint public-private committee, similar in structure and methodology to the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), comprising representatives from the OUR, private sector and other stakeholders, in an effort to monitor the Project’s steps going forward," the release said.
According to the business groups, this "would serve the purpose of bringing transparency and credibility to the process and ensuring that the project meets its ultimate goal of significantly lower energy costs for both residential and business customers".
The groups are to outline their concerns and recommendation, as well as request a meeting with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, in a letter this week.
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Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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