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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Let NWC Champion Generation of Hydroelectric Power
Topic: Public Facilities
Please allow me this opportunity to propose to the government that it directs the National Water Commission [NWC] to champion the development of hydro-electric power generation in Jamaica.  With exception of our bauxite companies, NWC is likely the largest consumer of electricity in the nation, but definitely so within the government.  Initially, this could take the form of self-generation to provide power to operate its pumping network, but need not be limited to this in the future.In a recent study involving Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it was concluded that potential hydro-power capacity was more than double that being used, though only marginal hydro-power plants were planned for the near future.  I would suspect the same for Jamaica, but who else is better able to evaluate our potential and advise us than NWC?Most of us think hydro-electric plants need to be large facilities, like the 306 MW plant planned for Cost Rica or the 165 MW plant to be constructed on Guyana’s Amalia Falls.  But, low-head hydro-electric generators are available with capacities from 6kW to 5MW.  Riva Riddim ecotourism-park, proposed for the White River Valley, just outside Ocho Rios, is designed to use three 6kW hydro power generators to provide a significant portion of its energy needs.With implementation, this proposal will reduce NWC’s dependence on JPS for power.  Its pumping facilities could be located outside the grid, in remote areas, where it could better serve its customers and reduce the risk of being connecting to a grid exposed to storm-force winds.  Their operating costs would fall with use of more efficient plants that do not require importation of expensive oil.  And, the country would benefit from more efficient service, improvement in our balance of payment, and reduced liability under the Petro-Caribe Agreement. 

Posted by phcjam at 2:50 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 16 November 2012 3:51 PM EST
Monday, 17 July 2006
New Building for Parliament
Topic: Public Facilities


With regard to the current debate about constructing a new Parliament building, it may prove informative to consider a similar case involving the construction of the new Australian parliament building completed 18 years ago.

Australia's provisional Parlia-ment House was built in 1927 in their then new national capital Canberra and was intended to last only 50 years. After 38 years in the facility, a joint select committee of parliament was constituted to consider the need for a new building. Five years later, in 1970, this committee recommended that the planning, design and construction of the new building should be overseen by a joint standing committee.

In 1977, the joint standing committee recommended that the new parliament building be completed for occupation in 1988 (75 years after the completion of the provisional parliament building) to coincide with the bicentenary of European settlement of Australia.

It took them two years to establish a comprehensive set of requirements for the building and a statutory body was established and charged as project managers for the design and construction of this building alone. The whole process took 23 years from constitution of the joint select committee to occupation of the new parliament building.

Granted our Parliament would be much smaller, but the neccessary planning, design and eventual construction will most likely take longer than a single parliamentary term, and maybe we need a specific event to commemorate, such as the 50th year of independence.

I am, etc.,


Managing partner

PAUL HAY Capital Projects

15a Cassia Park Road

Kingston 10


Posted by phcjam at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 23 April 2011 2:00 PM EDT

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