June 2013

A section of the Petrojam refinery in Kingston.
A section of the Petrojam refinery in Kingston.

The Jamaican government says it will establish a “firm” schedule to implement the upgrading and expansion of the Petrojam refinery, as it seeks to make the operations more modern and efficient.

Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell, said the issue will be discussed at the 8th PetroCaribe Summit, scheduled for June 29, in Nicaragua.

“We have been talking too long about the upgrade of this refinery, it has been producing for us for close to 40 years. We are now on a firmer path, especially since the new president of Venezuela has assumed office, to pursue some of the things that were not done, over the last five years, including the expansion and upgrade of the Petrojam refinery,” he said.

Paulwell said the government is hoping to move this process a step closer to fruition, with the Venezuelan government having already committed, as part of the economic zone of PetroCaribe, a relationship which will see value added, along with efficiency.

In May, during the PetroCaribe ministerial meeting in Venezuela member states agreed on an economic zone to boost regional development and Paulwell said that Jamaica will eventually produce its own ultra-low sulphur diesel, as this will be synchronised with upgrading of the refinery.

“We are importing this fuel, and it’s not our intention that this will be a long-lasting activity. The day will soon come when we will be producing this fuel in Jamaica.”

2006 agreement

In 2006 Jamaica signed an agreement with Venezuela for a 49 per cent stake in Petrojam, and as part of the agreement, production should have moved from an average of 30,000 to 50,000 barrels of petroleum products daily, starting in 2007, but this output has not yet been realised.

“We are now back on track. We have to update some of the financials, and the first thing the Board has agreed to do, with the support of Venezuela, is to get that front-end engineering design project updated, so that we have figures that are more realistic than the2007/2008 figures,” Paulwell said.

Paulwell said that many of the features of the expansion project are now more positive than they were in 2007, to justify the expansion and upgrading of the refinery.

“It will enable us to produce those things that we use in Jamaica – LPG, gasolene, and low sulphur diesel – so that we will be almost self-sufficient, and be able to export some of it,” he said, pointing out that the by-product, petcoke, will enable the generation of 100 megawatts of cheap electricity.

“What we will be doing this weekend in Nicaragua is to establish the firm schedule towards its implementation and funding,” the minister said.

Upgrading of the refinery will ensure its viability in the long-term and allow for the installation of treatment facilities to meet new environmental specifications for diesel oil, and gasolene.

Additionally, Paulwell said discussions will be held at the Summit on the trade compensation mechanism aspect of the PetroCaribe Agreement, which allows Jamaica to trade goods and services, as part of the process of repaying PetroCaribe loans.

“We have a very significant development, which we hope will be crystallised this week, in Nicaragua,” he said.

Under PetroCaribe, Jamaica and other Caribbean countries benefit from preferential rates on crude oil, refined products, and LPG or its energy equivalent, from Venezuela.

The payment arrangement allows for purchase of oil on market value for 40 per cent up-front, within 90 days. The remainder of the payment can be made over a period of 25 years with one per cent interest, provided that oil prices are above US$40 per barrel.


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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Eleven people, including three women, were arrested by the police for illegal abstraction of electricity in Clarendon early Tuesday morning.

Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) crews assisted by the security personnel pulled down 120 throw-up connections during the operation.


Those arrested are from the Clarendon communities of Lionel Town, Sedge Pond and the

PRIVATE Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) President Christopher Zacca says the body is “extremely disappointed” by another delay in the Office of Utilities Regulation’s (OUR) decision on the award of the 360 megawatt energy project.

“Quite frankly, the PSOJ is concerned that we will miss the 2015 deadline for the introduction of new generation and we simply cannot afford to,” Zacca told Monday night‘s installation ceremony of the Rotary Club of St Andrew North at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston.

ENERGY Minister Phillip Paulwell said the new Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD), which was yesterday introduced to the Jamaican market, is essential in preserving diesel engines with advanced emission controls as well as protecting the environment.

“The ULSD is expected to preserve our environment and make our vehicles last longer as sulphur contains pollutants. So lower sulphur means less exhaust and cleaner air,” Paulwell told the audience at the special ceremony to launch the fuel at Petcom Dunrobin service station in St Andrew. “A number of our SUVs have the advance emission controls, so the introduction of the fuel makes the cost of performance cheaper and mileage good.”

Science,Technology, Energy, and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell and Kingston Mayor Angella Brown Burke cut the ribbon on one of the service pumps that will supply the Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel. Behind them (from left) are general manager of Petcom, Courtney Lawes, sales and marketing manager of Petcom, Alphanso Chambers and managing director of Petcom Dunrobin, Wayne Boothe. (PHOTO: GARFIELD ROBINSON)

According to Paulwell, the introduction of ULSD is a component of plans to improve the quality of fuel produced and expansion of the Petrojam oil refinery.

“The production is in sync with the refinery expansion from 30,000 barrels per day to 50,000. The upgrade will enable us to improve our liquid petroleum gas, E-10 gasoline, automotive diesel oil, and jet/turbo fuel,” he said.

Paulwell said manufacturers of diesel vehicles with advanced emission controls had refused to sell to car dealers in Jamaica as the fuel was not compatible with the new model vehicles.

The new fuel, with a sulphur content of 15 parts per million, is expected to improve mileage on vehicles and be more beneficial to the environment. It will also see a reduction in exhaust smoke, sulphur emissions, and exhaust odour.

Telroy Morgan, Petrojam’s production manager, told the Jamaica Observer that $120 per litre diesel is in accordance with the refinery’s pricing policy.

“The ULSD will be sold at 10 per cent above the cost of regular diesel. The price is higher but efficiency is greater,” he said.

Wayne Boothe, managing director of Petcom Dunrobin, expressed his gratitude to Petrojam.

“The good thing is motorists were the ones who demanded this because of the effect it has on engines. The diesel is clean and it is better for our health, so I expect a great turnout throughout the week from motorists,” he said.

The ULSD will have a light yellow [straw] colour, while the regular diesel will have a red colour to enable differentiation between the two fuels.

As similar launch was held at Shell Gore Terrace in St Andrew.

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Towards the Domestic Adoption of Wind and Solar Energy Technologies: Assessing Awareness, Knowledge, Attitudes and Predicting Householder Behaviour

Davina W. Gayle

This exploratory study assessed awareness and knowledge levels of Jamaican household heads, their attitude towards microgeneration technologies specifically wind turbines and solar panels, as well as the likelihood of them changing from conventional energy sources to renewable using these technologies.

The diffusion of innovations theory, theory of reasoned action and theory of planned behaviour formed the theoretical framework of the research.

Two hundred household heads living in urban and rural, lower to upper class neighbourhoods, with ages ranging 19 to 85, participated in a KAP survey. Respondents were selected based on a mix of quota, convenience and purposive nonprobability sampling.

The findings showed high awareness levels of microwind turbines and solar panels; low to moderate knowledge levels of these technologies and the renewable energy they generate; generally a favourable attitude towards both; and a modest percentage of household heads indicated the likelihood of installing a wind turbine or solar panel in the near future.

Further research is needed.

It is recommended that although some household heads may be willing to make the change from conventional energy sources to wind and solar powered using microgeneration technologies, intervention is needed from government and civil society, for there to be wide scale behaviour change.

Keywords: Davina W. Gayle; Wind and solar energy technologies; Jamaica

NB: This study was not commissioned by the JSEA, but was intended for the public domain, via organizations such as the JSEA, to help promote the use of Renerwable Energy in Jamaica

Full Document


MINISTER of Science, Technology, Energy & Mining Phillip Paulwell will tomorrow morning launch the Ultra Low Suplhur Diesel (ULSD) fuel at two service stations in St Andrew.

The first launch will be at the Petcom Dunrobin service station at 8:30, followed by another at the nearby Shell Gore Terrace station.

PAULWELL… promised fuel in his recent budget presentation

Both stations will join others in retailing the new product to the market, following years of complaints by owners of diesel engine vehicles about the quality of fuel that they get at service stations.

ULSD is a fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 15 parts per million. The introduction of this fuel is also a response to consumer demand for diesel that is compatible with newer model diesel engines with improved emission-controlling devices.