Barbados has finally signed off on the much discussed multimillion-dollar state of the art plasma gasification waste-to-energy project set for Vaucluse in St Thomas.
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler made this announcement today in the House of Assembly during his near three-hour introduction of the 2014-2015 Estimates Of Revenue And Expenditure.
Making the announcement, the St Michael North-West MP said: “On Saturday, the Sanitation Service Authority, along with the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Housing and Lands, and the Ministry of Energy on behalf of the Government of Barbados signed for the construction of a state of the art plasma gasification waste to energy plant to be constructed and operated at Vaucluse in St Thomas between Cahill Energy and the Government of Barbados.
“A major international energy company out of Canada is proposing and will invest in Barbados at least a minimum of US$240 million with the potential to raise it to US$300 [million], and it portends massive spin-offs in the economy,” he stated.
Coming at a time when the island was seeing, what the minister termed “a softening in foreign direct investment” over the past two years, he noted that this was “a much welcome investment over the next three years”.
“Any single investment that equates to more than six per cent of GDP is bound to create serious ripples across the country as a whole, as hundreds of Barbadians find work in the construction and operation of the plant. Equally important is the massive spend which it will create as this project goes forward and builds out. It will assist scores of Barbadians to find jobs and generate small and medium-sized business activities around Barbados.”
Sinckler pointed out that when the company becomes operational it will save Government approximately $30 million a year and $900 million over a 30-year period. He disclosed that with the elimination of the stench from Mangrove Lanfill, Sandy Lane has promised to expand investment at its site which is downwind to the landfill.
Meanwhile, Cahill Energy officials have claimed that when operational, the plant will be capable of generating 25 per cent of the island’s energy, providing the Government with several hundred million dollars in estimated savings over the 30-year lifetime of the contract.