20/04/2012

Barbados to build its first waste to energy plant

A waste-to-energy facility expected to process approximately 350 tonnes of solid waste a day, and provide between 10 to 14 megawatts of electricity is on the cards for Barbados. This was announced by the island’s Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr Denis Lowe, as he disclosed that Cabinet had recently approved BDS$377 million for the creation of a Mangrove Pond Green Energy Complex.

Along with the waste-to-energy facility, this complex will include a solar power facility, a wind energy facility, the Mangrove Pond Beautification Programme, the construction of a new mechanical maintenance facility, and the Landfill Gas Management System. Dr Lowe said the complex formed part of Government's efforts to develop a comprehensive programme to manage solid waste disposal and create energy options for the country. "What we are also going to be doing in that package of services is to decommission cells one, two and three [at the Landfill], and commission the new cell four towards the end of June," he said.

The projects listed under the programme are expected to assist with the development of the infrastructure that is necessary for achieving sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness in the execution of solid waste management in Barbados. The installation of a Landfill Gas Management System is designed to capture the greenhouse gases that can be quantified and sold as credits in Carbon Trading Markets. Such a project would also allow Barbados to be a leader in the region in terms of selling its carbon credits. "We could earn quite a bit for selling the green credits," Dr. Lowe added.

On the other hand, the Solar Power and Wind Energy Facilities are expected to generate electricity at the complex. The Minister said government was hoping to generate over 25 megawatts of power in total, to be sold into the grid, thereby reducing the country's dependency on fossil fuels and helping to eliminate greenhouse gases.

In addition, the Mechanical Maintenance Facility at Vaucluse will also facilitate the relocation of the existing Wildey Depot, and would include 16 bays and a washing bay for the Sanitation Service Authority's vehicles. The Mangrove Pond Beautification programme is designed to improve the public's image of the Mangrove Pond Landfill by beautifying the cells and reducing foul odours.

It will involve the installation of a clay polyvinyl liner along with the landscaping of strategy points of the landfill to increase its aesthetic impact. Dr. Lowe re-emphasised that becoming a green economy was much more than planting trees. "It really is a broad framework that includes a number of living aspects that should put Barbados in good stead in the future."

Source: Caribbean360 News (April 12th 2012)