Committed to green energy
Government has identified a number of projects which are to be undertaken in the near future, aimed at helping to move its green energy plans forward.
According to Minister of Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, Cabinet has also approved the creation of a number of projects which will form part of the Mangrove Pond Green Energy Programme. He made the comments while addressing those gathered at Vaucluse, St. Thomas for the groundbreaking ceremony for the new administration building of the Sanitation Service Authority, estimated to cost $28.7 million.
The Minister indicated that in addition to the new headquarters of the SSA, plans are on stream to locate a number of state-of-the-art energy generation facilities on the property. He revealed that also to be placed on the site is a waste-to-energy plant at an investment cost of US $340 million; a landfill gas-to-energy project at a cost of $9.4 million; a solar power farm expected to cost US $60 million; a wind farm which is to cost $24 million and an ultra modern mechanical workshop which is estimated to cost $11 million.
Minister Lowe said that there is also to be a leachate treatment plant estimated to cost $31.9 million and an $11 million Mangrove Beautification Programme, which, while not a revenue generation programme, is very important as it will give the final imagery for the site at Vaucluse. Lowe said that with respect to the leachate plant, they are presently at the contract stage of negotiations.
“The infrastructure committee of Cabinet led by Dr. the honourable David Estwick has been driving these projects to roll out because we do not have a lot of downtime to play with. The economy needs us more than ever and we need the economy more than ever and therefore this Ministry – the Ministry of Environment and Drainage – is going to continue to do its part in ensuring that whatever needs to obtain to get these projects done, that they will be done and that is our commitment,” he maintained.
With that in mind, Lowe indicated that the named projects combined will generate twice as much revenue as it currently takes to finance the present operations of the SSA, which stands at $52 872 825.32. He added that if all goes well, within a few years the SSA will become a self-contained institution, which does not have to rely on Central Government for its lifeline.
“As the lead solid waste agency in Barbados, the SSA plays a critical role in ensuring that the Ministry of Environment and Drainage’s environmental stewardship agenda is achieved. This environmental agenda is based on a cultural shift away from considering waste as useless garbage or trash, to regarding it as a valuable secondary material that can be potentially recovered through waste minimisation, pollution prevention, increased systems efficiency and resource conservation,” he added.
Dr. Lowe said the SSA’s vision for solid waste management extends beyond traditional waste management to involve a more holistic and comprehensive resource management approach. This, he said, will result in an effective, efficient, island-wide integrated solid waste management system that is financially and environmentally stable.