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Burgess says no to Tynes Bay energy plan

Public Works Minister Derrick Burgess said there was “no hard evidence” to suggest a new sustainable business could convert the Island’s waste into power.

Bermuda Environmental Energy Sustainable Group (BEESG) has put forward proposals to build a generation plant at Tynes Bay capable of producing 18 to 20 Megawatts of electricity per day enough to power thousands of homes.

But Mr Burgess told the House of Assembly last week: “This is a risk the Government will not take.”

Mr Burgess said Government was willing to share information but a more comprehensive proposal was needed before anything could be agreed on.

As reported in The Royal Gazette at the end of April, entrepreneur Oliver Binns, CEO of BEESG, hopes to use a technology called Stabilat, which works by removing metals, batteries, glass and other recyclables from the waste as well as producing agricultural-grade fresh water and fuel from the residue. Mr Binns said the new facility would save Government $21 million a year in operational costs and could be up and running within four years.

But Mr Binns’ dream does not look likely to become a reality any time soon. Instead the Minister has accused the BEESG of being “extremely idealistic” saying the plans “needed to be vetted properly.”

Mr Burgess explained that Government officials had met Mr Binns to “investigate the claims and learn more about the process.”

But Mr Burgess said Mr Binns was “unable to provide substantial information or concrete data.”

He told the House that Mr Binns wanted Government to sign a memorandum of understanding for his company to take care of the Island’s waste for the next 50 years.

Mr Burgess said Government had 15 years hands-on experience at Tynes Bay and remained unconvinced by this new proposal.

He said: “We could not commit to these terms. The proof could not be delivered, so we did not sign. But we have offered them our full cooperation and sharing of information to provide a comprehensive proposal.”

Coral Wells, BEESG chief communications officer, said: “We believe it is appropriate and necessary for this issue to be elevated nationally, as it is a critical issue for the country’s future.

“We are pleased that the Minister and his staff have carried out their due diligence with respect to our proposal to replace the current Tyne’s Bay technology.

“We are encouraged by the fact that the Minister is receptive to signing a non-disclosure agreement and authorising his team to share information with the BEESG team.

“We recognise that the Government is responsible for consistent and reliable service and as such should scrutinise any proposal that affects essential services. It is with recognition of the critical nature of this service that our proposal focuses on deploying only proven technologies.”

BEESG said it remained committed to working with Government and hoped to draw up a feasibility study to determine whether the technology was “economically and environmentally feasible.”

Category/ies:Regional News.
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