My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: EWI secures US$550 million in Loans from Development Bank of Philippines - Conflict of Interest in EWI and EWC ownership even as Renewable Energy can power the Entire Island

Saturday, April 12, 2014

EWI secures US$550 million in Loans from Development Bank of Philippines - Conflict of Interest in EWI and EWC ownership even as Renewable Energy can power the Entire Island

“We are extremely pleased to announce this important financing milestone for our Philippines projects, which represents a strong statement of support for EWC's strategy to bring clean and green energy to Asia by one of the Philippines' leading financial institutions. We look forward to working in close cooperation with the DBP and other local and international lenders in finalising this project financing transaction in the coming months”

CEO and Chairman of EWC Stewart Elliott, commenting on the loan agreement with the DBP (Development Bank of Philippines)

Great News for those worried about Jamaica’s Energy future under Hong Kong based EWI (Energy World International), especially as it relates to the construction of the 360 MW LNG Power Plant!

They’ve finally secured some US$550 million in loans from the DBP (Development Bank of Philippines) as stated “Energy World Corporation secures financing with Development Bank of the Philippines”, published Friday, April 11, 2014, The Jamaica Observer.

This represents 74.62% of the original US$737-million price-tag that EWI estimated for the construction of the 360 MW LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) Power Plant. The agreement apparently had been signed with the DBP in Manila, Philippines on Friday 28th February 2014. With this agreement, securing supply contracts for the 300,000 tonnes of the LNG needed to fuel the LNG Power Plant.

Opposition Spokesman on Energy Karl Samuda Concerns – Conflict of Interest in EWI and EWC ownership

This should help to ease any suspicions that members of the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) led Opposition, especially Karl Samuda, has about EWI and CEO and Chairman of EWC Stewart Elliott as also pointed out by the Traditional Media Houses and most recently by The Jamaica Observer’s Caribbean Media Report

EWI Board owns 334,572 million shares of EWC (Energy world Corporation), a publically listed company. Interestingly too, CEO and Chairman of EWC Stewart Elliott also owns EWI, the local Jamaican Consortium that was formed to bid for and build the 360 MW LNG Plant and has some 639 shares of EWC. Not sure why this is a big deal, save for the fact it suggests that CEO and Chairman of EWC Stewart Elliott has his fingers in more than one pie, being both Owner of EWI and CEO and Chairman of EWC.

Conflict-of-interest issues may be the case that Caribbean Business Report and other Traditional Media houses are trying to make, as he can easily influenced decision making if he sits on the Boards of 2 separate companies, suggesting he's not of reputable character, a big issue among shareholders worried about their investments in such companies.

EWI business is as follows:

1.      Development, Building and operating in property
2.      Managing infrastructure
3.      Power generation 
4.      Electrical Energy projects

Our deal with EWI should sooth some passions though:

1.      50% payment and takeover should EWI default on the Construction of the Power Plant or meet the agreed Criteria
2.      15% control of the Power Plant after 20 years

With the 20 year PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) and a partnership deal forged with JPS Co (Jamaica Public Service Company Limited) to build the 360 MW Power Plant under their belt one month later as described in my blog article entitled “JPS Co and EWI forge deal to build 360-MW LNG Plant together - The Wolf of Wall Street makes an American Hustle to Energise Jamaica's Energy Future” , this Plant is looking more and more to be completed within the required timeframe.  

Especially as word is now wafting about that suggests that the Power Plant may be split in two (2) as a means of increasing the level of Redundancy, with one Plant located in Bull Bay, St. Thomas and the other in Bogue, St. James as stated in my blog article entitled “EWI Plant to have 2 LNG Plants - LNG Plant Banana Split between St. James and St. Thomas may mean LNG Fuel coming for Large companies and Auto LPG for JUTC to reduce fuel costs”.

115 MW Renewable Energy Projects too small – Renewable Energy can power the Entire Island

Personally, I’m awaiting word of the progress with the Bidders who’d also been awarded Licenses for the 115 MW of Power from Renewable Energy sources which occurred around the same time as the EWI’s award as chronicled in my blog article entitled “360 MW LNG Power Plant and 115 MW Renewable Energy Project Bidders have submitted Bids - Congratulations to the Energy Bidders as Liberated Energy Sector is Power to the People”.

The total Renewable Energy thus far is 78MW, or 67.83% of the total amount as stated in my blog article entitled “Wigton Wind Farms Limited submits Bid Bond for 24MW Wind Farm - 78MW Total from WWFL, BMR and WRB Enterprises Inc means were 37MW short on Renewable Energy”, which is currently being supplied by the confirmed bidders as follows:

1.      WWFL (Wigton Wind Farms Limited) is providing 24MW of Wind Energy
2.      BMR (Blue Mountain Renewables) is providing 42MW of Wind Energy
3.      WRB Enterprises Inc is providing 20MW of Solar Power

There is still a shortfall of some 37 MW of Power, with no official announcements of any additional Bidders or current Bidders stepping forward to fill that Gap.

This as in my eyes, Renewable Energy is of greater importance than the 360 MW Plant. It has the greatest potential to not only just save on the importation of Fossil Fuels but ultimately power the entire island as argued in my blog article entitled “June on El Hierro, Canary Island's smallest Island to become the first Territory to go 100 percent Renewable - Canary Island makes many wonder if the same isn't possible in the Caribbean”.

Manufacture and production of our own Solar Panels in partnership with Cuba as it relates to using Solar Panels to connect the last 3% of Jamaica as described in my blog article entitled “Jamaica and Cuba collaborate on Solar Panels Production in Jamaica to connect the last 3% - Jamaica's rebranding of the REP to the JESL started the Alternative Energy Hunger Games Catching Fire” should also be extended as an option to the rest of Jamaica that wants a low-cost way to come off the JPS Co Grid altogether.

As it relates to Renewable Energy, the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining is thinking a bit too small in just using Renewable Energy to reduce our Oil Importation Bill. I await more information on the 115 MW Renewable Energy Licenses and even its expansion even as I celebrate the 360 MW Project showing further signs of life to renew my faith.

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