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Stabroek News
April 11, 2003

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Jamaica launching energy conservation fund
*The government is launching a US$2.7m energy conservation fund next month. Under the scheme, large energy users will be able to use the fund to finance energy conservation strategies and energy-saving equipment. Initial financing will come from the Petrojam oil refinery, the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), and the retail petroleum marketing company, PETCOM. Jamaica imports over 90% of its energy needs in the form of petroleum products at a cost of around US$600m.

*The All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association (AIFCF) is in talks with a local financier for a US$120m loan to construct a modern sugar refining facility in Trelawny. The plant will also produce yeast, vinegar, and dry ice and have the capability to produce ethanol. The sugar industry generates US$100m each year from sales of 180,000 to 220,000 tons of raw sugar.

Study on intra-Caribbean gas line attracts funds
The US Trade and Development Agency has offered to partly fund an in-depth feasibility study for the intra-Caribbean gas line, according to Energy Minister Eric Williams following his trip to Washington last month.

He also reported that a meeting of all the major LNG exporters including Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Mexico, and Canada as well as major importers like the US will take place in Trinidad & Tobago between June and July. Energy Minister Williams said his visit to the US "had nothing to do with the war [in Iraq] - it has to do with demand and supply in the market." Trinidad & Tobago is the largest supplier of LNG to the US.

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