Sunday, April 21, 2024

$400m green plant


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GOVERNMENT IS IN the process of selecting private sector partners for the construction of a $400 million green complex in St Thomas in a public-private Build Operate Lease and Transfer (BOLT) arrangement.
Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage Dr Denis Lowe made this announcement yesterday as he spoke on The Role Of The Private Sector In The Green Economy at the monthly luncheon meeting of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) at Hilton Barbados.
“The Government has just approved an investment of $400 million to construct a waste energy plant at our integrated solid waste management system at Vaucluse.
“Due to that, we are also investing in a leachate treatment plant to ensure that we protect our ground water leakage and we are also outfitting that location with a brand new administration building to house our Sanitation Services Authority and other related services,” he said.
After his presentation he told the DAILY NATION that the three projects were being pursued by public-private partnerships and the process of selecting the private partners had started.
“Most of these projects are done by private-public sector partnerships, where the proponents bring us their own financial resources. We have not yet settled on that [who is the proponent]. We have put out a call for expressions of interest and we are now collecting those calls and then we will do what is called the RFP – the detailed layout of the plant –  and then once you do that you select the proponent.
“It is a very time-consuming process, but it has to be done to ensure that there is transparency and accountability. The cut-off point to receive expressions of interest is probably next month. Let’s say 20 people were interested; we’ll look at the top six. The next stage would be to give them that document that lays out the details because that’s how they will be able to judge the cost. The six of them would come back in with their own cost analysis and then the Government will choose the one it thinks represents best what it wants,” he stated.
He noted that Government had “just” completed the acquisition of the land and the transfer station is already built there, which is all part of the waste energy process.
Dr Lowe said the proponent for the leachate plant should be chosen by September and one for the SSA administration building should be finished by mid-September/early October, but he could not say when a private partner would be selected for the waste energy plant, which was the most elaborate of the green projects.
“Most of what is happening now is happening because proponents have decided that they are going to put their funds in so as to advance the Government’s development programme and do it in an arrangement where they can then decide who will build, operate, lease and then transfer – a BOLT arrangement,” Dr Lowe explained. (SR)

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