The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) says Government’s handling of the Cahill waste to energy project has been nothing short of disrespectful.
In fact, the party’s Shadow Minister of the Environment Wilfred Abrahams believes it has been downright low.
In an open letter to Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe today, Abrahams demanded to know what was the immediate status of the proposed plasma gasification plant at Vaucluse, St Thomas, while warning Lowe that his continued silence on the matter was not considered golden.
“The local generation and additional importation of garbage and feedstock to feed a plasma gasification plant apart from being impractical and unsustainable is also an environmental disaster waiting to happen,” warned Arbrahams, in his letter sent to Barbados TODAY.
He further cautioned top officials of the Freundel Stuart administration that even though they had chosen to ignore the Opposition’s questions on Cahill, to ignore the people who elected them would be at their own peril.
“Silence is no longer an option for you or the Government, in fact, continued silence in this regard is downright disrespectful. The people of Barbados look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible in this regard,” Abrahams added.
His comments come in light of recent abandonment of a similar project in Teesside, North East England.
The reasons cited by Air Products for pulling out of the $2 billion waste to energy project were “operational challenges” and “technical difficulties in making the technology work”.
Abrahams, who is also Lowe’s challenger in Christ Church East, said given the “very public concerns” here over the unproven technology, the logistical difficulties of implementing such a system and the fact that Air Products was willing to walk away from the significant investment, there was need for the Minister of the Environment to come clean on Cahill.
Earlier this week, a senior official in the Freundel Stuart administration told Barbados TODAY the future of the controversial plant was now uncertain.
In fact, the official revealed at the time that if there were to be a plasma gasification plant in Barbados, Cahill Energy would not be involved, even while he left the door open for a waste to energy project, arguing that this was the “cleanest” energy around.
However, Abrahams believes the country is owed a full explanation by Lowe and he is demanding to know not only if Government is still intent on the implementation of plasma gasification technology and the development
of the Cahill waste to energy project in Barbados, but what commitments, if any, have been made to Cahill by him and/or the Government of Barbados; and what is the liability of the Government of Barbados and the taxpayers if the arrangement with Cahill is terminated?
He said the Opposition, which has been at the forefront of criticisms of the Cahill project, which was initialed back in 2014, was interested in “a sustained and sustainable national recycling policy, as well as a proper waste management system for Barbados. (KJ)