Government has signed an agreement with the Guernsey based Cahill Energy for the construction and operation of a Waste to Energy Plant which is capable of providing up to 25 per cent of the island???s energy needs.

Cahill Energy expects to invest up to USD $240 million in the proposed plant which will be built at Vaucluse, St. Thomas. It is expected to create up to 650 skilled labour jobs, stimulate growth across the island and provide Barbados with several hundred million dollars in estimated savings over the lifetime of the 30-year contract.

At the signing last Saturday, March 15, at Government Headquarters, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, said: ???This investment by Cahill Energy represents a ???game changer??? for the island and truly belies any doubt that Barbados is still a preferred destination for solid and impactful foreign direct investment.???

Minister of Environment, Dr. Denis Lowe, continued: ???Cahill Energy offers us a real solution to becoming energy independent, while at the same time reducing our massive oil import bill. Cahill Energy has brought a Waste to Energy option to the Government of Barbados that is far superior to any other we have examined. We believe that our country will be changed forever as a result.???

Minister of Energy in the Prime Minister???s Office, Senator Darcy Boyce, added: ???This Waste to Energy project is a major step to put Barbados firmly on the way to its initial target of replacing by 2029, 29 per cent of its oil based electricity by generation from renewable and alternative energy. Indeed, this project will help Barbados significantly to reach this target ten years earlier than planned.???

Chief Executive Officer of Cahill Energy, Clare Cowan, explained that Cahill began exploring Waste to Energy in 2011 and its attention was directed towards the Caribbean by 7th Heaven Properties. ???While we recognise the country faces some short term challenges due to the impact of the global economic downturn, we believe the fundamentals are strong. We are, therefore, confident that this investment represents a phenomenal business opportunity for our investors and offers even greater benefits to the people of Barbados,??? Ms. Cowan remarked.

Established to finance, build, own and operate utility-scale Waste to Energy plants in key markets, Cahill Energy plans to utilise the most innovative technology available to transform all kinds of waste on Barbados into clean, renewable energy.

The plant will provide a leading edge, environmentally sound solution to two of Barbados??? most pressing challenges – waste management and energy security.??Using plasma gasification technology, one of the most effective and environmentally friendly methods of waste treatment available, the plant will transform up to 650 tonnes of solid waste per day into clean, renewable energy.

As a result, the plant will eliminate environmental threats posed by the use of landfill. The energy generated will provide a new domestic source of power for Barbados, reducing the island???s reliance on costly imported fossil fuel.

Author: Sharon Austin/Cahill Energy

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