Minister of Energy, Kerrie Symmonds (centre), officially opens the BNTCL’s Annex while CEO of the BNOC Group, James Browne, and BNTCL’s Operations Manager, Terrence Straughn, look on. (GP)

The Barbados National Terminal Company Limited (BNTCL) is conducting a biodiesel study to test various blends of diesel, to roll out biodiesel in the market for those Barbadians unable to switch out their vehicles to electric by 2030.

Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds, said the study would be rolled out during the third quarter, and the Barbados National Oil Company’s Group of Companies would demonstrate as a “proof of concept” the viability of biodiesel fuel, ahead of its availability to the wider public.

The Minister made the announcement on Wednesday, during the official opening of the BNTCL’s Annex at its Fairy Valley, Christ Church location.

He told the audience that in keeping with the Barbados National Energy Policy’s mandate to transition to 100 per cent renewables by 2030 and to electrify the ground transportation system, the Minister said using biodiesel would enable a segment of the population to keep their vehicles on the road, in keeping with the policy.

The Minister added that the policy also commits Barbados to “being a country where we have either electrified our ground transportation system or…brought it to a level of carbon neutrality”.

Mr. Symmonds acknowledged that with a fleet of over 125,000 vehicles on the island’s road network, achieving carbon neutrality would be a substantial undertaking.

Given this situation, he urged the BNTCL to rethink its business model regarding issues of storage and distribution of fossil fuels. 

Mr. Symmonds thanked the staff and the board of the BNTCL for their diligence and service and their willingness to “take the bull by the horns as we proceed”.

“I want to begin by congratulating the board and the staff on the pilot study that you are now doing, which is aimed at ensuring that you test various blends of diesel so that they can be a roll out of biodiesel in Barbados. This would enable those persons who are not in a position over the next nine years or so to transition their vehicle to being electrified, to be in a position where through the use of biofuels, biodiesel in particular, would be in a position to maintain your vehicle on the road in a manner in keeping with the obligations set out by the National Energy Policy,” Mr. Symmonds stated.

The Energy Minister said while the country proceeds on its 2030 target, there would still be some importation of fossil fuels to service the aviation industry.

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