A technical team comprised of members from the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and Petrojam are meeting with engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors for the expansion of the State-owned Refinery, Petrojam.
Providing an update on the status of the expansion process in the House of Representatives on May 29, Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, said the Government is moving with alacrity to get the expansion under way.
“The staff members are working feverishly. The money is in place and the Government has made an allocation for this year for us to proceed with the vacuum distillation unit (VDU) project,” he said.
As part of Petrojam’s expansion, a VDU is required to be installed. The VDU is part of the oil-refining process that will help to produce petroleum products out of the heavier oils left over from atmospheric distillation.
The quality fuel produced from the VDU, which significantly reduces sulphur content, will be used for the bunkering industry, which is now a stipulation under International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidelines. The VDU will also facilitate the production of asphalt.
Meanwhile, responding to a question raised by Opposition Spokesperson on Mining and Energy, Phillip Paulwell, on the purpose for the construction of a wall by Petrojam at its facility, Dr. Wheatley explained that it is necessary for security reasons.
“During the upgrade of the Marcus Garvey Drive roadway, the perimeter wall of the refinery had to be replaced, and one can appreciate the security concerns related to oil refinery with flammable products on-site. The entity did the work to (erect) the wall,” he said.