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UWI, New Fortress Energy to increase STEM capacity

Wed Edens (third right), chairman and CEO of New Fortress Energy (NFE), stands with the first cohort of NFE’s tertiary scholarship recipients at The University of the West Indies. From left: Jordan Hayles (electrical engineering), Crystal Duncombe (medicine), Jade McGann (medical sciences), Rickel Williams (civil engineering) and Gary McDonald (law).

As the Government continues to diversify and transform the energy sector to include liquefied natural gas (LNG), The University of the West Indies, Mona has announced a milestone partnership with New Fortress Energy to introduce a cryogenics engineering course in the Faculty of Engineering. This course, said the UWI, is testament to the natural gas provider’s long-standing commitment to developing a sustainable future for Jamaica’s economy and society through LNG.

Cryogenics engineering involves the design and development of systems and components which produce, maintain, or utilise low temperatures. Ever since the first liquefaction of air around the turn of the 20th century, the interest of engineers and scientists on cryogenics have significantly broadened. Some of the uses of cryogenic systems include the research and development around the cure of diseases, liquid fuels (hydrogen) for space flights and liquefied natural gas. The primary aim of the course, therefore, is to introduce students to the engineering aspects and challenges of cryogenics, with special emphasis on the design and analysis systems used to produce, maintain and utilise low temperatures, including liquid natural gas technologies and their applications.

MILESTONE ACHIEVEMENT

Professor Dale Webber, pro-vice-chancellor and principal of the UWI, Mona, said the partnership is a milestone achievement for the university being the first to offer cryogenics engineering at the tertiary level in the Caribbean.

“With LNG being the future of energy, this is no doubt a milestone achievement for the UWI Mona in being the first tertiary institution in the Caribbean to offer a cryogenics engineering course for BSc engineering students.”

Webber added, “We have enjoyed a great partnership with NFE since their inception in Jamaica. In addition to scholarships and bursaries for more than 50 engineering students over the past three years, we have been able to upgrade our existing combined heat and power plant through an agreement with NFE to provide LNG for the plant. This has seen us reducing our energy cost by some J$52 million annually and improving our environmental footprint with a 16 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, while allowing us to become energy independent. We commend New Fortress Energy for its vision and commitment to Jamaica’s energy sector. Importantly, we applaud them for their unwavering commitment to building an energy sector that is fit for purpose and fit for the future, and we’re delighted to be part of this journey.”

The curriculum is fully funded by New Fortress Energy, including all prescribed texts, lab equipment, simulation software tools and licenses plus laptops, which the natural gas company donated to the Faculty of Engineering to ensure that all cryogenics students can fully access their online classes. Students will also benefit from guest lectures by NFE experts, as well as summer internship programmes at the company’s LNG plants in St Catherine, Clarendon, and St James.

“We are proud of the long-standing strategic partnership that we have shared with The University of the West Indies, Mona since our inception in Jamaica. For the LNG sector to be successful and sustainable, it is not enough to simply supply LNG to any market. Educating and upskilling the next generation of LNG engineering professionals play an integral role in this journey,” said Wes Edens, chairman and CEO of New Fortress Energy.

He continues: “The introduction of this cryogenic course at the UWI also aligns with our long-term interest in creating and sustaining a cryogenic centre in Jamaica. The UWI plays a critical role in providing world-class education in Jamaica and the Caribbean, and we are delighted to expand our partnership with them to ensure Jamaica is well positioned to compete in the global LNG marketplace.”

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