Largest Wind Energy Facility in English-Speaking Caribbean Now on Jamaica Stock Exchange

Prime Minister Andrew Holness (second left), observes as Chairman, Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, Russell Hadeed (left), inserts the strip signifying Wigton Windfarm’s official listing on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. Also sharing in the moment are (from third left) Minister of Finance and the Public Service,Dr Nigel Clarke; Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams; and General Manager, Wigton Windfarm, Earl Bennett. (Photo Credit: JIS)

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday May 23, 2019 – Wigton Windfarm Limited is now listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), following the success of its initial public offering (IPO), which saw some 31,200 Jamaicans taking up the opportunity to own 11 billion shares in the company.

The offer, the first IPO of a government-owned company in almost 30 years, was oversubscribed. A total of 11,772 Jamaicans, or 38 per cent, are new investors.

Wigton Windfarm, a subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and the largest wind energy facility in the English-speaking Caribbean, is the 82nd company to be listed on the JSE combined market.

Managing Director of the JSE, Marlene Street-Forrest, said over 64 per cent of those who invested in Wigton are under 50 years of age, with approximately 50 per cent under 40.

“The gender mix was also quite interesting, as more females applied for shares within this IPO – that is 56 per cent to 44 per cent female-male ratio. The average spend for a new investor was approximately $124,000, which on the basis of all this, one can conclude that the public believes in this company and expects that it will continue to do well. This is confirmed by the oversubscription of the offer by over 158 per cent,” she said.

Speaking at the official listing ceremony yesterday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the Government is being instrumental and proactive in promoting ownership – beyond just a piece of land or a home – while facilitating wealth creation for Jamaicans at all levels.

“We are expanding that concept of ownership to the average Jamaican to say that you can own a piece of a profitable company, and more than that, as a shareholder you have a powerful vote, not just the Directors. I believe the Government has fulfilled its policy objectives and, indeed, the higher objective of starting the ownership culture,” Holness said.

He said there is significant gain in value in owning assets in companies.

“The investment that you have made in Wigton is one that I am certain will yield great future gains,” he said.

Wigton Windfarm was built by the Government to help diversify Jamaica’s energy mix. It began operating in 2004 with the commissioning of a 20.7-megawatt generating plant, Wigton I. This was followed by the development of Wigton II in 2010, which generates 18 megawatts of energy. Wigton III, the 24-megawatt expansion of the facility, was officially commissioned into service in June 2016.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said his Government is looking at divesting its shares in other entities, such as the Central Waste Water Company, the Jamaica Public Service Company, and the Jamaica Mortgage Bank.

Regarding the Jamaica Mortgage Bank, he said the Cabinet submission has been approved “for us to move forward with that divestment”.

“The modality, whether it is an IPO or otherwise, will be declared shortly,” Holness said.

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