More takers needed for energy loans


PERSONS are being urged to access single-digit interest rate loans from the Energy Fund operated by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).


The loan can be had at roughly 9.5 per cent at various financial institutions, according to energy minister, Phillip Paulwell.


PAULWELL... here is another opportunity for you to invest

PAULWELL… here is another opportunity for you to invest

 He reported that take-up of the funds had been low, while speaking at an energy forum at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James last week.


“As people looking for opportunities, look at this facility that the DBJ has to offer,” said Paulwell. “You can market it to your potential clients. We have to make use of these arrangements put in by the Government to encourage more of our people to access renewable sources.”


The minister told the forum that there are vast areas in which persons can invest, and receive meaningful returns.


“There is a business for training people… you need people who can do energy audits, you need people to establish facilities, and eventually, we will need to have a solar facility in Jamaica to assemble equipment,” he added.


Paulwell cited the energy-saving project which started at Government offices, on a small scale, that has already achieved reduction in the amount of energy consumed, adding that there will be further upgrade of the energy-reduction system, with some 5,000 air-conditioning systems to be replaced.


“We have seen already a fall in consumption in the region of about 10 per cent, and we are now moving forward to incorporate greater efficiency by changing out, in the next year, the air-conditioning systems, and replacing 100,000 bulbs… and although we have to advertise globally, we have a 10 per cent advantage for Jamaican businesses to supply these services and products. Here is another opportunity for you to invest,” the minister urged.


Meanwhile, general manager of the DBJ, Edison Galbraith confirmed that persons have been reluctant to take up the offers for energy loans.


He noted, however, that since 2009, the DBJ has approved roughly $1 billion in loans for renewable- energy projects.


During the last financial year, he added, a total of 71 projects, valued at $657 million, were approved.


The forum was hosted by the Energy Policy Coalition — an alliance of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), and the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ). It provided information on investment opportunities, as well as the latest trends in the energy sector, with several exhibits on display.


Source: Jamaica Observer