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Govt postpones landfill energy project

Set to address waste-to-energy proposals late 2014
  • Kenred Dorsett.

Guardian Business Editor

Published: Oct 01, 2013

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The government is postponing plans to implement a waste-to-energy (WTE) facility at the landfill until after it completes the Bahamas Electricity Corporation reform process, the minister of the environment has confirmed.

Kenred Dorsett said that the government intends to issue a newly structured request for proposal for participants in the waste-to-energy opportunity subsequent to mid-2014.

The decision is a significant shift from an earlier position taken by the government in mid-2012 when it announced plans to aggressively seek a private sector group to implement a waste-to-energy solution for managing the amount of trash that ends up in the landfill site.

Since prior to that time, the government has attracted over 100 bids from private companies seeking to engage in the process, which would see a company burn the waste which enters the site, generating power as a by-product.

In August of this year, Renward Wells, parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Works and Urban Development and chairman of the National Energy Taskforce, told Guardian Business that the government had narrowed the number of bidders to engage in the waste-to-energy project to six.

Wells called the landfill site a “lose-lose situation”, and touted its great potential as a source of energy and recyclables.

Yesterday, Dorsett said that the government now intends to focus on the renewable energy potential of the landfill site after it has completed the transition of BEC that was announced in August.

“Our energy strategy indicates that by mid-2014 we would be able to focus specifically on renewable energy technologies and our ability for there to be interconnection to grid, so I think the WTE framework would be advanced subsequent to that,” he said.

“The most important thing to me is that government understands waste streams coming in and the quantities otherwise we won’t be able to discern if a proposal makes sense and is sensible. We’ve seen a lot of guestimates so we’ve got to break down the waste streams.”

Dorsett said that as far as that study is concerned, “something is in train, but hasn’t commenced yet.”

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