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Barbados government signs agreement for $240 million clean energy plant
Published on March 18, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

(L-R): Edison Alleyne (Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment), Margot Harvey (Chairman, Sanitation Service Authority), Dr Denis Lowe (Minister of Environment), Clare Cowan (CEO of Cahill Energy), Christopher Sinckler (Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs), Denis Kellman (Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development), Senator Darcy Boyce (Minister of Energy in the Office of the Prime Minister)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- Guernsey-based Cahill Energy signed a historic agreement with the government of Barbados on Saturday to build and operate a leading edge clean energy plant on the Caribbean island.

Established to finance, build, own and operate utility-scale waste to energy plants in key markets, Cahill Energy plans to utilise the most innovative technology available to transform all kinds of waste on Barbados into clean, renewable energy.

Cahill Energy expects to invest up to US$240 million in the proposed plant, which is set to be built in Vaucluse, St Thomas, creating up to 650 skilled labour jobs, stimulating growth across the island and providing the government of Barbados with several hundred million dollars in estimated savings over the lifetime of the 30-year contract.

Clare Cowan, CEO of Cahill Energy, commented: “Cahill Energy began exploring waste to energy in 2011 and our attention was directed towards the Caribbean by 7th Heaven Properties. While we recognize the country faces some short term challenges due to the impact of the global economic downturn, we believe the fundamentals are strong. We are therefore confident that this investment represents a phenomenal business opportunity for our investors and offers even greater benefits to the people of Barbados.”

Christopher Sinckler, minister of finance and economic affairs of Barbados, added: “This investment by Cahill Energy represents a “game changer” for Barbados and truly belies any doubt that Barbados is still a preferred destination for solid, and impactful foreign direct investment.”

The plant will provide a leading edge, environmentally sound solution to two of Barbados’s most pressing challenges: waste management and energy security. Using plasma gasification technology (one of the most effective and environmentally friendly methods of waste treatment available), the plant will transform up to 650 tonnes of solid waste per day into clean, renewable energy.

As a result, the plant will eliminate environmental threats posed by the use of landfill. The energy generated will provide a new domestic source of power for Barbados, reducing the island’s reliance on costly imported fossil fuel. The plant is expected to provide up to 25% of Barbados’s total energy needs and reduce the cost of energy substantially.

Dr Denis Lowe, Barbados’s minister of environment, said: “Cahill Energy offers us a real solution to becoming energy independent, while at the same time reducing our massive oil import bill. Cahill Energy has brought a waste to energy option to the government of Barbados that is far superior to any other we have examined. We believe that our country will be changed forever as a result.”

Plasma gasification is expected to supply the waste to energy technology (which is already in use in six commercial facilities worldwide) and will significantly contribute to cutting Barbados’s dependence on landfills, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and transforming the island nation into one of the greenest economies in the entire region.

Senator Darcy Boyce, minister of energy in the Office of the Prime Minister of Barbados, said: “This waste to energy project is a major step to put Barbados firmly on the way to its initial target of replacing by 2029, 29% of its oil based electricity by generation from renewable and alternative energy. Indeed, this project will help Barbados significantly to reach this target ten years earlier than planned.”
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