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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