No Illegal Connections to Jamaica Oil Refinery’s Underwater Pipelines

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams (right), listens as Acting Commanding Officer, JDF Coast Guard, Lt. Commander Aceion Prescott (centre), addresses a press conference at the State-owned oil refinery, Petrojam. At left is Chairman of Petrojam, Paul Hoo. (Credit: JIS)

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday March 4, 2019 – Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams says a recent dive mission conducted by members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard has identified no illegal attachments to Petrojam’s underwater petroleum pipelines.

The mission was requested by Prime MinisterAndrew Holness.

Speaking at a press conference at the State-owned oil refinery’s premises on Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston today, Williams said the Ministry is in receipt of a letter dated February 22, indicating the dates of the dive mission and the other technical aspects of their dive.

“The letter indicated that there were no illegal attachments identified on any of the 23 pipelines surveyed,” she noted.

Acting Commanding Officer, JDF Coast Guard, Lt. Commander Aceion Prescott said that the extensive diving operation was conducted over a five- day period to assess the status of the pipelines.

He said the operation was conducted with approximately 14 divers and took place on a daily basis, “because the Kingston Harbour is not the (simplest) place to dive, and we needed to ensure that we did a very comprehensive job”.

“So, all the pipelines were surveyed visually and by hand, where the divers basically felt along the pipeline to detect any anomaly or any attachment. At the end of the period, they were assessed as having no illegal attachments or any indication of any such attachment during the period of our investigation,” Prescott noted.

In the meantime, Minister Williams said investigations are being carried out by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to clamp down on illicit petroleum operations.

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