JPS is an integrated electric utility company serving the island of Jamaica. We are the proud inheritor of a tradition that dates back to 1892, when Jamaica first received electricity. This placed Jamaica in the enviable position of being one of the first in the world to have electricity, and only thirteen years after American scientist Thomas Edison had invented the electric lamp. The Company has evolved over the years, from private ownership, to Government ownership, to its current structure of 80% share ownership being in the hands of private investors, 19.9% remaining with the Government of Jamaica, and the rest in the hands of a group of minority share owners.
OUR HISTORYElectricity came to Jamaica in 1892, thirteen years after Thomas Edison invented the first successful electric lamp. It all began when the Jamaica Electric Light Company started to supply electricity from a small coal-burning steam generating plant on Gold Street in Kingston. This was quite an achievement for Kingston, a small island city, then only nineteen years old. At that time, many large British cities were still without electricity. Thirty-one years later, on May 25, 1923, the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) came into being as a legal entity, providing service to 3,928 customers. Up to that time, electricity had been provided by a number of small suppliers, whose assets were eventually taken over by JPS.
1892Jamaica Gets ElectricityElectricity came to Jamaica in late 1892, with the establishment of the Jamaica Electric Light Company on Gold Street using a small, coal-burning steam generator. Jamaica was one of the first countries in the world to receive electricity.
1893First private residence gets electricityIn 1983, electricity was delivered to Waterloo Guest House, the first private residence in Jamaica to receive electricity.
1897Electric Light & Power Company takes overJamaica Electric Light Company’s holdings were acquired by the Jamaica Electric Light and Power Company in 1897. They established expanded operations at 151 Orange Street in Kingston.
1897West India Electric Company emergesAnother electric utility emerged in 1897, under the name West India Electric Company. Electricity service was then extended to other areas with a powerful 3 machine hydroelectric plant on the Rio Cobre River in Bog Walk, St Catherine.
1907After the earthquake... the consolidation beginsThe Jamaica Electric Light and Power Company sustained extensive damage during the 1097 earthquake. Due to financial problems, a new company was formed, under the name Jamaica Light and Power Company Ltd. (Canada). This company subsequently leased its licences and property to the West India Electric Company.
1923The consolidation continuesOn May 25 the Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd. (JPS) was registered, and subsequently acquired the assets of West India Electric Company. By, some towns had established their own electricity companies.
1945The final consolidationThe local electricity companies, County Electric Lighting Company, Northern Electric Lighting Company, and St James Utility were sold to the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited in 1945.
1966All island licenseThe Government issued the first All-Island 25-year Electricity License to JPS in 1966.
1970State OwnershipThe Government of Jamaica acquired controlling interest in JPS in 1970.
1978All island franchiseIn 1978, JPS began operating under an exclusive 39-year All-Island Electricity License.
1996JPS sale haltedAfter many years of being state-run, JPS was placed on the market as part of Government’s efforts to have a more efficiently run electricity service. However, the Government halted proceedings to sell JPS, because it was not satisfied with the bids received from three overseas utility companies.
1997Performance AgreementJPS entered into a Performance Agreement with the Government of Jamaica in 1997, with the mandate to begin operating as a virtual private sector entity.
2001Mirant acquires 80% share ownershipThe process to sell JPS was reopened in 2000, and on March 30, 2001, 80 percent of the operating shares in the Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd was transferred to Mirant Corporation, which was headquartered in the USA. The Government of Jamaica retained ownership of 19.9% of the shares, with the balance remaining in the hands of a group of minority shareholders.
2007Marubeni buys Mirant’s sharesSix years later, on August 9, 2007, Marubeni Caribbean Power Holdings, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Marubeni Corporation of Japan, purchased Mirant’s majority shares in JPS.
2011Korea East West partners with MarubeniIn 2011, Korea East West Power (EWP) entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with Marubeni Corporation, for joint ownership of majority shares (80%) in JPS.
TodayJPS continues to operate under the joint ownership arrangement, with a Board of Directors comprised of representatives of Government, Marubeni and EWP.