Jamaica Gleaner / Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Cabinet has approved the pilot project to retrofit some Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) buses to use liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The pilot is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year and will see five new LNG buses in operation.
Holness pointed out that this is part of serious efforts by the Government to achieve energy efficiency, and by extension, energy diversification, which will result in sustainable economic growth.
He was addressing the launch of Red Stripe’s new production line, dubbed ‘Line 8’, and LNG plant at its Spanish Town Road facility on Tuesday
“The right fuel mix fuels efficiency and the economy. From the micro entrepreneur to the large manufacturer, energy is a critical input. We must ensure that the thrust towards the provision of clean and affordable energy is given priority,” Holness said.
The prime minister added that the Government has carefully examined a tax structure to incentivise the use of LNG.
He noted that currently, 18 per cent of the country’s energy production was based on renewable energy, and he would like to see that figure climb to 50 per cent in short order.
SUPPORT FOR PRIVATE SECTOR
Meanwhile, Holness, in lauding the latest development at Red Stripe, emphasised the role of Government in supporting the private sector to achieve greater investments in a seamless manner.
“The Government stands side by side in support of, and behind the private sector to drive growth,” he emphasised.
“We are here to support, to create the facilitating, enabling and seamless environment so that you can engage in products that can enhance your production capacity, substitute local raw materials and make long-term investments to renew capital equipment,” he added.
State minister in the finance and the public service ministry, Fayval Williams, while on a tour of Red Stripe’s plant at Spanish Town Road, said that she was impressed with the production facility and the LNG plant.
Red Stripe can now produce 40,000 bottles of beer per hour
With THE introduction of the close to US$18-million production line, Red Stripe, which is a part of the Heineken Company, will be able to further expand its export capabilities to produce 40,000 bottles per hour and 26,000 cases of beer per day exclusively for its growing global markets.
The new line now means the brewery can produce up to one million bottles of the Jamaican beer for the domestic and international markets.
The brewer will also become the first commercial company in Jamaica to be fully LNG-powered, through a project in partnership with US-based supplier New Fortress Energy.
This means there will be a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 6,000 tonnes per annum.
Managing Director of Red Stripe Ricardo Nuncio said that the aim was to make the signature beer a truly global brand.
He noted that Red Stripe established for itself three imperative actions and has successfully completed them. They include repatriation of the beer volumes from the US, accelerate domestic growth and boost project growth, an ambitious project to replace imported raw material with locally grown cassava.