US Biodiesel Maker Looks to Build Jamaican Plant

John Davis

HEROBXAn American biodiesel producer is looking at building a refinery in Jamaica. This article from Caribbean News Now says if HERO BX is able to make its ambition come true, it could be the Caribbean’s first commercial scale biodiesel plant.

The plant would be a boost for Jamaica’s renewable energy programme and would have a multi-industry impact, as biodiesel uses feedstock such as waste oils from the Hospitality Industry and plant feedstock from the agricultural industry. The investment would also be a significant source of employment and could empower the government to benefit from the sale of biodiesel produced on the island, which would operate as the hub of HERO BX’s Caribbean operations.

Glen F. Garth, native-born son of Jamaica and executive vice president of US consulting firm, Garth Solutions Inc., is representing HERO BX. He said that Jamaica has received top billing for the development of the plant due to the country’s strategic location, amongst other factors.

“The location of Jamaica strategically in the Caribbean basin, the access to a quality, educated labour force, the access to all of the benefits that are available due to commitments made by the Jamaican government to encourage foreign direct investment are all factors. Those attributes are what first attracted our attention and have further strengthened our interest in siting a biodiesel hub in Jamaica,” he said.

Garth also praised the country’s strong national energy policy and renewable energy sub-policy, saying those components were seen as favourable and increased the company’s interest in Jamaica.

Minister of industry, investment and commerce, Anthony Hylton said that Jamaica has been receiving more investment interest due to steps being taken by the government to improve Jamaica’s economy and business environment.

Hylton said, “This robust investment climate and investment in a variety of sectors in the economy is the result of work across government to improve the business environment, facilitate economic growth and create opportunities for job creation.”

HERO BX is based out of Erie, Pennsylvania and has the largest biodiesel plants east of the Mississippi River, producing 50 million gallons per year.