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Cambridge Project Development to build two waste-to-energy plants at Riverton

Cambridge Project Development Inc has been picked to build two waste-to-energy plants that will generate up to 65 megawatts (MW) of electricity using garbage disposed of at the Riverton dump in Kingston.
Potopsingh… having selected the most suitable, we are now in negotiations with the selected party to determine the financial model that will be used, further work needed to be done, and who the technical partners are

Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), which requested proposals from potential investors at the beginning of 2009, selected the entity as the most suitable of four bidders who made their bids in April, according to Ruth Potopsingh.

Potopsingh, who is the managing director of PCJ, explained that the eight-year-old Florida-based waste management company was chosen because it was deemed to have the “requisite skills”.

“Having selected the most suitable, we are now in negotiations with the selected party to determine the financial model that will be used, further work needed to be done, and who the technical partners are…,” she told Caribbean Business Report.

The project as proposed will see the construction of two facilities at the Riverton landfill site located in Kingston – one 45 MW facility on the eastern end that will generate 358 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity a year and the other, a 20 MW facility producing 141 GWh.

The development will boost the objectives of the National Energy Policy green paper which seeks to boost the contribution of renewable energy to the 827.75 MW national grid from a current level of six per cent to 15 per cent by 2015.

The target is a moving one, however, as Jamaica Energy Partners has been given the go- ahead to construct a 60 MW, diesel-fired plant in West Kingston, while Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), the sole distributor of electricity in Jamaica, yesterday commissioned an additional 10 MW of generating capacity at its Bogue plant in St James.

Additionally, JPS and the state-run oil refinery, Petrojam, are working on a joint project that will add 100 MW of generating capacity to the national grid by 2012 using petroleum-based petcoke to fire the generators.

Actual testing of the landfill to determine make-up of the garbage, however, will ultimately determine how much electricity Cambridge will be able to produce.

A waste characterisation study was conducted in the 1990s by Norconsult which indicated that approximately 50 to 60 per cent of the waste is biodegradable. Characterisation studies conducted by the NSWMA during the period 2000 – 2007 have indicated that biodegradables constitute 50 – 69 per cent of domestic waste.

The Riverton disposal site is situated on over 42 hectares (100 acres) of land in the western end of Kingston and serves Kingston, St Andrew, St Catherine and formerly Clarendon, which combined represents approximately 60 per cent of the national waste deposits each day.

The rate that Cambridge will be able to secure from the local light and power company will be determined by negotiations, but is guided by the Office of Utilities Regulations (OUR).

In June 2008, the OUR determined that the avoided cost for generation, which is essentially the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to build a plant using conventional technology, was 8.88 US cents for energy alone. The government presently declares a premium of up to 15 per cent above the avoided cost for renewable energy projects, so Cambridge could possibly get 10.2 US cents per kWh, enabling them to make more than US$50 million (J$4.45 billion) in revenue each year.

Aside from approaching its goal of a higher proportion of renewable energy being used in the national energy mix, the government also hopes to reduce the contribution of untreated municipal solid waste to poor health standards, greenhouse gas emissions and fires, which on occasion break out spontaneously.

Category/ies:Jamaica News.
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