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JET welcomes news that Jamalco won't have coal-fired plant

The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) says it welcomes the recent announcement that there will be no coal-fired plant for the Jamalco facility in Clarendon.
     
JET says it opposed the proposal due to the public health risks to residents as well as the impact on climate.
     
JET's CEO Diana McCaulay says coal is the dirtiest of the fossil fuels and has no place in a climate friendly future.
     
"There are other possibilities for coal fire plants so we feel that this announcement is very hopeful but we have to be sure that there are not going to be coal plants in other parts of Jamaica," she said.      
     
Dr. Vincent Lawrence, Chair of the Electricity Sector Enterprise Team, on Monday, said Cabinet approved a Jamalco-proposed project for the construction of a natural gas-fired co-generation plant to provide 94 megawatts of baseload capacity to the national grid.   
     
He said the project is an amendment to a 2015 agreement by Jamalco, for the construction of a 50 MW coal-fired plant costing US$500 million.
 
Meanwhile, JET says it supports the government's renewable energy targets and natural gas as a transitional fuel.
        
JET says it is aware that the energy policy allows for some generating capacity to be supplied by coal, but hopes these will not materialise given the public health impacts and the incompatibility with the Paris Agreement on climate change.
 
"We think that coal should not be used in Jamaica; we think it goes against the commitment Jamaica and many other countries have made under the Paris agreement about climate change. 
 
"So we do support natural gas as a transitional fuel, but we'd like to see the government's existing renewable energy targets increased, expanded and accelerated," she expressed.   


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