JEP Celebrates 25 Years of Service to Jamaica

In September, 25 years ago, Doctor Bird I, a 74.2 MW power barge was on its way from Brownsville, Texas, USA to Old Harbour Bay, Jamaica. In this month, Jamaica Energy Partners (JEP) is proud to celebrate its silver year, a quarter-century of contributing to Jamaica’s energy needs ethically and responsibly; while sustaining the Old Harbour Bay and wider communities through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) intervention.

Jamaica Energy Partners was initially established to respond to the urgent need for additional capacity on the national grid in 1994. One year later, JEP commissioned Doctor Bird I (DBI), which was previously managed and operated by foreign nationals. In September 2002, the organization transitioned from being foreign managed to 100% locally operated, making it the first electric company to boast a ‘100% Jamaican workforce’. In 2006, the company grew from 74 to 121 employees when JEP incorporated an additional 51MW to its total generating capacity through the implementation of Doctor Bird II, located 300 yards away from DBI. This addition to the family represented a 67% growth in the company’s generating capacity, increasing asset value and profitability.

Over the past 25 years, Jamaica Energy Partners has relished considerable feats, resulting in significant growth for the company, its employees, surrounding communities and the nation. JEP has been recognized by and values the partnerships with many organizations, including but not limited to the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ), Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), Jamaica Institute of Engineers (JIE); Jamaica Employer’s Federation (JEF); American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) and the Government of Jamaica. In 2008 the company won rights to build, own and operate West Kingston Power Partners (WKPP). This necessitated the need to raise debt of US$89 million to fund construction of the US$131 million/J$16.7 billion project during the middle of the global financial crisis. In 2019, the company experienced further growth as a result of the acquisition of Jamaica Private Power Company, the newest member of the JEP family. Together, Jamaica Energy Partners, West Kingston Power Partners and Jamaica Private Power Company comprise the JEP Group, the largest Independent Power Provider (IPP) in Jamaica, with a total generating capacity of 250 MW of power to the national grid.

Though energy is our core business, it’s not our only responsibility. Jamaica Energy Partners has been an unwavering stalwart for members of the Old Harbour Bay and other St. Catherine communities since 1995. Through JEP’s CSR portfolio, the company has been steadfast in its investment in health, education, sports, environment and charitable donations. To date, the leaders in private power generation have recognized over 1,000 students for their academic excellence by awarding them scholarships at the secondary and tertiary levels, some of which are current employees of the group. JEP has also improved the lives and livelihood of our community partners by way of annual health and dental fairs; developing talents through sports and protecting the environment via collaborations with key stakeholders such as the Government of Jamaica, NGOs and community representatives. The partnerships with our stakeholders include projects such as:

  • The development of the St Catherine Cricket League, which has advanced the careers of many cricketers who represent Jamaica locally and internationally.
  • Participation in National Tree Planting Day activities aimed at preserving the island’s natural resources and reducing our carbon footprint.
  • Participation in International Coastal Clean-up Day efforts, in which the company has rid several beaches of garbage and debris.
  • JEP’s annual Christmas Distribution for the residents of Old Harbour Bay. Each year the company presents to the residents, packages filled with non-perishable food items as well as toys for children.
  • JEP’s School Feeding Programme through which the company delivers nutritious breakfast ingredients to a total of ten schools across the areas in which all three power plants operate.

With a combined experience of over 150 years in the energy industry, the company takes pride in recognizing its employees. Our people are the cornerstone of our success, providing excellent energy solutions and service to our customers. JEP’s senior management team and its executives have led major engineering initiatives and completed significant overhauling of generating sets and auxiliary equipment, reducing the company’s dependence on foreign expertise at the same time building local capacity. This year, we are honouring nine of the company’s long-standing executives, in particular – Raymond Grant, Kevin Francis, Giovani Valentine, Shakeen Peart, Newton Burke, Donovan Smith, Renford Grant, Carol Aitcheson and Purnel Adams. These persons have served the company diligently for 25 years, instrumental in many of its accomplishments, subsequently paving the way for their younger associates.

Raymond Grant joined JEP in 1996 as the Financial Controller and was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2000, a position he holds to this day. During his tenure, he has contributed meaningfully to the growth and success of JEP. Kevin Francis, Director, Strategic Planning, Facilities and IT, over the past decade and a half has contributed significantly to the company’s technical operations and was part of the core team that ensured the assembly, and seamless operations and maintenance of DB I and II following their commissioning. Giovani Valentine, WKPP’s Maintenance Manager; WKPP Shift Supervisors, Shakeen Peart and Newton Burke, as well as, Mechanics, Renford Grant and Donovan Smith were also part of the core operations and maintenance team back in 1995. Today they still contribute to ‘keeping the engines going’, producing the Group’s desired electricity output and targets each month. Carol Aitcheson, also known as ‘Aunty Carol’, is currently the Office Assistant at the Doctor Bird Power Station and is a crucial part of the day-to-day operations of the admin office, also offering administrative support to those who work on the plant. Purnel Adams, Driver/Bearer, has been reliable over the years, collecting and delivering the company’s important packages, including parts, equipment and documents plant-wide.

This year, the company staged a month-long series of activities to commemorate the silver accomplishment and to honour its 25 year-long service awardees. We invite you to follow JEP’s Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube pages (@jamaicaenergypartners) to view our celebratory activities.


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