US-based biodiesel producer exploring Jamaica for plant investment

HERO BX, one of the largest biodiesel producers in the US, is currently exploring possibilities to develop Jamaica’s first commercialscale biodiesel plant.

The firm’s representatives have been visiting the island since Jampro’s “Jamaica Investment Forum” earlier this year, and have been meeting with various government and private sector stakeholders with serious interest in confirming the project.

The plant would boost Jamaica’s renewable energy programme and would also impact a number of industries, since biodiesel uses feedstock such as waste oils from the hospitality industry and plant feedstock from the agricultural industry.

The investment would also be a significant source of employment and could empower the Government to benefit from the sale of biodiesel produced here on the island, which would operate as the hub of HERO BX’s Caribbean operations.

HERO BX produces 50 million gallons of fuel per year from multiple raw materials and has achieved the highest quality accreditation available. The company is investigating expanding into the Caribbean region, as the growing global renewable energy market is estimated to grow to US$614.92 billion by the end of 2015.

Glen F Garth, executive vice-president of US consulting firm Garth Solutions Inc, and representative of HERO BX, stated that Jamaica has received top billing for the development of the plant due to the country’s strategic location, amongst other factors.

“The location of Jamaica strategically in the Caribbean basin, the access to a quality, educated labour force, the access to all of the benefits that are available due to commitments made by the Jamaican government to encourage foreign direct investment, are all factors.

Those attributes are what first attracted our attention and have further strengthened our interest in establishing a biodiesel hub in Jamaica.” Garth also commended the country’s strong national energy policy and renewable energy sub-policy, saying those components were seen as favourable, and increased the company’s interest in Jamaica.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton noted that Jamaica continues to receive more investment interest.

“This robust investment climate and investment in a variety of sectors in the economy is the result of work across Government to improve the business environment, facilitate economic growth and create opportunities for job creation,” Hylton said.

Jampro President Diane Edwards is pleased that the country’s strides to promote its renewable energy strategy have been bearing fruit. She stated that following on the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce’s mandate, the agency has been campaigning for more investments in newer sectors to diversify Jamaica’s economy.

“We are seeing more interest in sectors such as energy and technology as the Government makes moves to improve the business atmosphere and the country’s readiness for investments. Jampro will monitor the progress of this and other projects closely as we try to bring more significant, sustainable investments to Jamaica,” she said.

Published Date: 
Wednesday, November 4, 2015