Are the people at JAMPRO educated, intelligent or just semi educated with below average intelligence?

Be the judge:

The investment promotions agency, Jampro, is on the hunt for an investor willing to fork out US$930 million needed to finance a power-generation project along the Mahogany Vale River in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains.

The scheme is not a new idea, having been on the drawing board for some 43 years, the Financial Gleaner has learned.

Said Ricardo Durrant, the manager of the manufacturing, energy and mining portfolios at Jampro, the “US$930 million is the estimated expenditure over a 10-year period”.

The Jampro officer could not say what return on investment would be required to make the project a feasible venture.

“Because it was mooted so long ago, a new study would have to be done to determine its feasibility, which phase will require US$5 million,” Durrant pointed out.

He said a previous study suggested that more than 50 megawatts of power could be generated by the plant, which in the current plans would be build in the second phase of the project.

The budget for the construction of the dam and power plant is set at US$460 million, which means an investor would be spending US$8.4 million per megawatt of power created.

By Jampro hunts investors with deep pockets for J$80b hydro power project Source: jamaica-gleaner.com

You know a country is in deep trouble when such information can make its way to the leading national print newspaper.

But maybe such words are too harsh, as if one is completely ignorant, semi literate, and void of any form of intelligence. Then one would not see all the above as the biggest embarrassment to come out of JAMRPO to date.

I thought the past president was 10 years behind the curve, but it appears whomever is in charge of JAMPRO and its staff to allow such nonsense to be published, is 43 years behind the curve. Frankly I do not even know where to begin. All the highlighted quotes above explain how ridiculous the information provided was.

What is the article really trying to say? Maybe they meant to state that a small positive for such an investment to solve water shortage would be 500MW bonus and not 50MW.

After all the March 9, 2009JPS Rate Case Submission addressing the 2009-2014 TARIFF REVIEW APPLICATION to justify their future rate increase projections, based on a US$950 million investment to create 300MW in capacity as a major factor.

To think that nothing has changed in 43 years in respect to solving water shortage and electricity demand, that such a plan and with such a hefty price tag is being considered, clearly demonstrates that Jamaica is not serious about investment and being more efficient.

Any Venture Capitalist (VC) or investor reading such nonsense coming from an agency responsible for seeking investment on major projects, would most likely die from laughing to death.

I take it in respect to power generation and my lack of making the following public, may have lead to such ridiculous investment request being promoted by JAMPRO.

The joint venture (JV) company will build, own and operate the CFB petcoke co-generating plant and provide 80 – 100 MW of energy to JPS’ grid. An additional (18 – 20 MW), as well as the steam by-product, will be sold to the Petrojam refinery. The plant, to be sited at JPS’ Hunts Bay power plant, is scheduled to commence commercial operations in December 2013 with an estimated cost of US$280M.

Source: myjpsco.com

For starters Kingston Venture Capital (KVC) is able to provide a plant with low cost fuel that meets all environmental standards at US$150 million with a capacity of 140MW. This is a new plant with full service contract.

JPS is pursuing the construction of a 300 MW coal-fired generating facility in Old Harbour. JPS will develop and construct 4 x 75 MW CFB coal fired power plants at its Old Harbour Bay site to utilize low sulphur coal imported from Colombia/Venezuela. Limestone will be used as the sorbent to minimize the environmental impact. The projected Commercial Operation dates are: • Phase 1 –2 x 75 MW -2015 • Phase 2 –2 x 75 MW – 2017 The construction of this plant is expected to cost approximately US$950M.

Source: myjpsco.com

KVC is able to provide a new 300MW plant at US$300 million with low cost fuel, and a more advanced plant. Low cost fuel is 50% cheaper than market rate on all existing fuel.

JPSCo has expansion plans that are based on extremely high CAPEX at over three times the existing rates in which KVC can provide.

However you will not hear the Minister of Energy or the Media looking into the figures stated by JPSCo to be inflated; nor will you find the Minister of Energy asking the OUR to offer clarification into content quoted in the following article claiming to have originated from the OUR.

The very manner in which the OUR approaches various avenues to assist in solving Jamaica’s energy problem, is less than acceptable; as I see no data to support counter claims to the figures presented to the country in respect to energy generation and plant expansion by JPSCo. Equally, I do not see the OUR publishing a statement refuting the claims made in an article quoting the OUR. It is hilarious the figures quoted below from the following article.

“The regulator determined that “the total capacity that will be required by 2029 to both meet the increasing demand for electricity and displace aged existing plants” was 1,360 megawatts (MW) and estimated the cost of building natural gas-fired plants to generate that amount of electricity at approximately US$5.77 billion.

However, the OUR estimates that using a hybrid — natural gas and coal — strategy the total cost would be approximately US$5.85 billion while business as usual would cost US$8.18 billion.”

Source: Expanding JA’s electricity generating capacity could cost US$2.4b more… if it sticks to oil By Jamaica Observer.

“In its Generation Expansion Plan drafted in August, the OUR examined three main expansion strategies — natural gas only, a mix of coal and natural gas and the “business-as-usual”casse — over a 20-year planning horizon.

The regulator determined that “the total capacity that will be required by 2029 to both meet the increasing demand for electricity and displace aged existing plants” was 1,360 megawatts (MW) and estimated the cost of building natural gas-fired plants to generate that amount of electricity at approximately US$5.77 billion”

Source: Expanding JA’s electricity generating capacity could cost US$2.4b more… if it sticks to oil By Jamaica Observer.

Yet a company in the USA is investing US$5 billion for the entire cost to build a 6,000MW capacity renewable power plant. Yes you have read it correctly.

“The entire project is expected to cost about $5 billion, but Google is only investing in the first phase to help get it off the ground (or, rather, out to sea). The first phase includes only getting the necessary governmental approvals and financing before the wind power line can actually begin construction. While it is the least expensive part of the process, it is actually the trickiest because of popular opposition to offshore wind farms in general. Other investors include Good Energies and Marubeni Corporation.”

Source Techcrunch.com Read full article click techcrunch.com

The information may be useful in thinking outside the box. What is more alarming is that according to the Jamaica Observer article quoting the OUR, it would cost Jamaica roughly the same amount of investment to produce far less energy than a project in which Marubeni is currently involved in along the coast of the United States. That being 6,000MW at US$5 billion versus 1,360MW at US$5.77 billion.

Another point

If the city’s population is growing too large, and as such, the infrastructure cannot accommodate the population growth; it simply means, stop issuing building permits inside the parish of Kingston & St. Andrew. But enforce the existing building and zoning codes left by the British, and send the excess population into the country side to expand industry, homes, etc.

But I guess ever since the British left, the locals have not yet figured out how to run the basics since 1962, regardless of the many scholars at their finger tips.

I see no use these people serve in government, or as public servants, when they can allow such nonsense along with several other idiocity to take place under the pretext of development.

Jamaica continues to amaze me every single day. Yet when one looks at the approach the Chinese the Indians, and the Americans are taking, it is not really rocket science. But whatever they put their minds to, you can be rest assured that it is practical and economically viable when it comes to national infrastructural development.

It appears that by allowing non qualified persons parading as professionals in sectors which require experts along with politicians who have never operated a company in the very Ministry they lead, and assisted by inaction or action by organizations such as the PSOJ, JMA , JEA whom for the most part all lack the skill sets required to make meaningful contribution in matter such as this. But instead look to government for solutions and are unable to spot the nonsense governments past and present introduce to the country that in the long run will leave the country in worse shape.

This creates the perfect recipe for a 3rd world country to remain as a 3rd world country with a few benefiting while the country remains in a 3rd world status. When government and private sector speak of developed status by 2030, I have no idea what they are really speaking about.

It is obvious that Jamaica has not had any real leadership since the great late Michael Manley who’s plans were not fully implemented or maximized based on interference from internal and external forces.

Maybe I am looking through different port holes than others. It could be that all that is written above is totally incorrect on my part, and that the Government, and all the wise men and wise women from PSOJ, JMA, JEA and others all have it right?

But if they do, how comes the figures and the end results do not seem to add up over the years? Why is it that only US$300 million in projected savings is expected from LNG introduction to Jamaica? Is that enough savings? Will it evaporate based on increase demand in energy consumption?


To make matters worse, the high schools and primary schools appear to have an up hill struggle. Yesterday I stopped by a primary school and sat in on a grade 7 ICT class.

One female student looked very troubled and was not participating. She looked rather ill and possible traumatized. Her face appeared to have seen more than a girl her age should have seen.

I did not noticed at first but she was making a drawing of some sorts. When I looked over, she had drawn a young lady with long flowing hair with a flower placed to the left.

In the right hand holding a wine glass and the following words, as though pointing from the head of the female figure, saying “I am drinking rum and red bull”.

Above the wine glass the figure was holding were two suspended bottles, one labeled red bull, the other labeled rum. There is a popular song by DJ Beenie Man with the following lyrics, though not intended for 7th graders, “I am drinking rum and red bull”.

A closer inspection also pointed that she wrote on the dress in the drawing “My wedding dress”. Then below that her name.

Quite interesting what goes on in the head of a female 7th grader. Though it could be considered a challenged school in a challenged community, none the less they are our future; are they not?

So I wonder if JAMPRO is on Rum & Red Bull and or the Government of Jamaica, and all the wise men and wise women from PSOJ, JMA, and the JEA? Or are they 7th graders lost in a class they have no business in? I have yet to read anything of substance emanating from such entities in regards to solving Jamaica’s energy problem or water shortage problem.

Rodger McKenzie
BA Economics (CSUH)
Kingston Venture Capital
E-mail: info@kingstonvc.com


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