BROOKLYN, NY – The Jamaica government says Wigton Windfarm Limited, the state-owned energy company, which went public last week, had been able to save the country in excess of US$54 million in oil imports.

Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Fayval Williams, says the production of clean energy from the facility has enabled the country to avoid the purchase of 800,000 barrels of oil, and the emission of one million tons of carbon dioxide, thereby reducing the country’s carbon footprint.

Wigton is regarded as the largest wind energy facility in the English-speaking Caribbean. It is a subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), and began operations in 2004 with the commissioning of a 20.7 megawatt-generating plant.

Williams regarded the Initial Public Offering (IPO) as a “new phase in the company’s history” adding “this is indeed a bold and strategic move.

“The growth in (renewable energy) globally, will undoubtedly bring greater investment opportunities in the future for a company like Wigton and we want Jamaica to be a part of this growing global movement in an even greater way. I believe we have the will and the capacity, and as a Government, we are putting the plans in place to ensure that we maximize our renewable energy potential,” Mrs. Williams added.

Jamaicans will have the opportunity to purchase shares in Wigton when the IPO opens on April 17 and closes on May 1.

A total of 11 billion shares at 0.50 cents each are being offered with 2.2 billion shares reserved for public sector workers. The government said it is seeking to raise J$5.5 billion (One Jamaica dollar=US$0.008 cents) from the sale.

Last week, Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the ceremony that the IPO is the best way of giving back to the people.

“This is the best way of achieving the goal of socialization of wealth, “Holness said, adding “I have high hopes for the Wigton IPO as the government embarks on a strategy to make Jamaica an ownership economy”.

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