PAULWELL TO DELAY POWER PROPOSALS TO QUICKEN THEIR APPROVAL—02/20/13
In a counterintuitive action, Jamaica’s Minister of Energy Philip Paulwell announced a delay in the vetting of new proposals for power plants in order to fast-track the approval of the plants. The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) will advise the Minister on the acceptance of rejection of proposals by March 30, 2013, rather than in the original month’s-end deadline. This extension saves the projects from a long retendering process that could go on for years.
CELL PHONE FIRM ASKS FLORIDA RELATIVES TO SUPPORT ISLAND FAMILIES—02/20/13
Digicel, the Caribbean cell phone company, is making is latest marketing pitch to people in South Florida. In recognition of the close ties between South Florida and Haiti and Jamaica, the firm is asking families in the state to purchase minutes for families members in their home countries. Customers in Florida can pay to send airtime minutes to the pre-paid cell phones of their friends and families. Digicel hopes to tap into the large Diaspora market in the region.
JAMAICA TO REDUCE IMPORTED ANIMAL FEED INGREDIENTS—02/21/13
Ranking high on the list of 2011 import items were two ingredients used in animal feed in Jamaica. According to government figures, Jamaica spent about US$79 million for imports of 18,000 tons of corn for animal feed and another US$26.5 million for soya bean oil cake, also used in feed. Roger Clarke, Minister of Agriculture, plans to reduce these import amounts to by some US$300 million.
WATER RESOURCES OFFICIAL CALLS FOR RAINWATER HARVESTING—02/22/13
Basil Fernandez, the managing director of the Water Resources Authority, together with Charles Buchanan, the corporate public relations manager at the National Water Commission (NWC), believe it is a good idea to support a call for any future residential developments in Jamaica to install rainwater harvesting systems. Fernandez said many factors must be considered, including the impact on cost of housing. The officials believe that harvesting rainwater is a good idea, but recognized the need for clear strategies and plans for operations.