(Jamaica Observer, 15.Jul.2018) – New Fortress Energy announced on Friday a new partnership with Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) for the introduction of the first natural gas-powered buses in Jamaica, which will significantly reduce emissions, pollution, maintenance and fuel costs.
As part of the partnership with the Government of Jamaica, New Fortress Energy will fund the pilot project for the conversion of five buses operated by JUTC to run on clean-burning liquefied natural gas (LNG) by early 2019.
The pilot programme, which consists of five new LNG-powered buses and a fuelling station in Kingston, is estimated to cost close to $400 million.
The new buses will reduce emissions and pollution and are expected to operate more efficiently, furthering the Government’s efforts to achieve energy diversification for sustainable economic growth and better protect the environment.
“We’re delighted to partner with the Government of Jamaica to introduce clean, reliable and affordable natural gas to the public transportation sector,” said Wes Edens, founder and chairman of New Fortress Energy.
“This partnership will be a catalyst for the transportation industry to reduce harmful emissions and pollution by using cleaner fuels. Jamaica continues to set an example with transformative energy investments that help grow the economy and protect the environment.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Transport and Mining Bobby Montague said, “We look forward to the conclusion of this pilot, using LNG-powered buses. We are very encouraged and excited about this groundbreaking initiative that will greatly enhance our environment. The Government is committed to support, create and enable the implementation of this pilot project. We anxiously await the results, so that a proper technical review can be done and chart a new pathway.”
He further noted that New Fortress Energy is funding five new buses so that the results of the pilot programme are not skewed by other factors.
The buses will be deployed across the system, and the ministry, along with JUTC stakeholders will be looking at the results to assess the success and viability.
In agreeing with the Minister, Paul Abrahams, managing director for JUTC, said; “This is indeed a significant milestone for our transport system and importantly, for our environment. We are very excited about it and look forward to the results post-pilot.”
Known as one of the safest, non-polluting and non-toxic fuels, LNG is an odorless fuel that offers significant energy efficiencies and emission reductions over alternative fossil fuel sources. It is cooled to a liquid form at -260°F and stored at atmospheric pressure, making it safe to handle and transport across the world.
The introduction of LNG as a clean and safe alternative fuel source in Jamaica is expected to lower energy costs and reduce environmental impact.