The Government of Jamaica is expecting to cut the country’s energy bill by $540 million annually and import 97,000 less barrels of oil with the introduction of biodiesel.
Winston Watson, General Manager of the state-run Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), has indicated that its biodiesel energy project has now moved into the phase where it is being tested on motor vehicles.
The research, which began in December, is being conducted by the PCJ in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Bodles Agricultural Research Station and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute.
Watson said the research so far has found that the castor plant is feasible for the development of biodiesel.
The PCJ head said the team has since developed a B5 blend of the fuel.
He said the team is optimistic that once the vehicular phase of the research is completed the B5 blend of biofuels will be an affordable option for driving energy efficiency in the transportation sector.
He said in addition to saving the government money the project is also expected to give a boost to the local agricultural sector.
Watson was speaking at the recently held Jamaica Alternative Energy Expo.