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PCJ Signs Agreement With UTECH For Research And Scholarship

PCJ Signs Agreement With UTECH For Research And Scholarship
Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley (right), in discussion with Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Chairman, Russell Hadeed, at a signing ceremony for the PCJ to provide the University of Technology (UTech) with $5 million to fund a scholarship programme and research and development in renewable energy, at the PCJ in New Kingston, on March 15.
(Media Credit: Yhomo Hutchinson)

KINGSTON (JIS) -- The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and the University of Technology  (UTech) have signed an agreement that will result in the corporation providing $5 million to bolster research and development as well as to fund a scholarship in engineering and energy at the university.

One million dollars will be made available through grant funding to underwrite the cost of the research projects to be undertaken by students at UTech’s School of Engineering (SOE).

Among the research projects are charcoal from forestry waste and the orientation of solar panels.

Four million dollars will be made available for students of the SOE pursuing Master of Science degrees in engineering in renewable energy.

At the signing of the agreement at the PCJ in New Kingston on March 15, Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, said he fully endorses the initiative.

He noted that not only is it timely but that it affirms the country’s seriousness regarding energy security and efficiency.

“At a time when we are looking towards renewable energy to fill the demand for safe and clean energy as part of our thrust to plot our sustainable development, this signing is quite timely,” he said.

Dr. Wheatley added that the signing reinforces Jamaica’s commitment to the Paris Agreement signed in April 2016 and the Kyoto Protocol.

The Paris Agreement or Paris Climate Conference sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits its parties by setting internationally binding emission-reduction targets.

Dr. Wheatley commended the PCJ and UTech for seeing the natural synergy and collaborating in the effort to bolster research and development in this critical sector.

Meanwhile, PCJ Chairman, Russell Hadeed, who is credited as one of the principals behind the initiative, said his agency will go the extra mile to advance young engineers in the area of renewable energy. In that regard, Mr. Hadeed is expecting that the partnership between the PCJ and UTech will be “strong and vibrant”. For his part, UTech President, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, said the institution is excited about the prospective outcomes of the research projects and is happy to receive the scholarship for the benefit of a deserving student.Professor Vasciannie noted that the partnership joins a number of similar initiatives being pursued by UTech to contribute to Jamaica’s 2030 development growth targets.