Not a waste!
Mottley gets a tongue-lashing from Canadian investor
The Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley, has been accused of being “irresponsible” and of “spreading mistruths” following her recent pronouncements about the multi-million dollar waste-to-energy agreement signed last year between Government and the Guernsey-based Cahill Energy.
The tongue-lashing has come from the company’s Chief Executive Officer Clare Cowan, who in a statement to Barbados TODAY has sought to distance the company from Mottley’s allegations by saying, ”nothing could be further from the truth.”
Just over two weeks ago, in her response to the Government’s 2015-2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, Mottley had described the proposed Cahill Energy Project as one of the biggest “sell outs” perpetrated against the people of Barbados.
She had also accused the Government of entering into an exclusive 30-year contract with the company, while charging that Cahill was not being held to any real environmental standards.
“With respect, Ms. Mottley is simply wrong and is being irresponsible by spreading mistruths. Our project has been found to meet or exceed the safety standards set by the World Health Organization, ensuring one of the lowest emission levels in the world,” said Cowan in her email response to questions posed by this newspaper today.
Cowan further insisted that while Mottley has sought to bash the project, there were several benefits to be derived from such an initiative.
In fact, she told Barbados TODAY “Mia Mottley couldn’t be more wrong.
“Cahill Energy’s waste-to-energy project will bring foreign investment, hundreds of good, high-quality jobs and a greener, more sustainable future to Barbados,” the Cahill spokeswoman said, adding “it’s surprising that a political leader wouldn’t support a project that gets Barbados back to work”.
The CEO of the Canadian firm also denied allegations that the project’s $480 million price tag, which they had attached to building a cutting edge technology plasma gasification plant, had almost doubled, or that it would result in Barbadians paying $100 million more per year in electricity costs.
“No”, was the blunt response given by Cowan to those accusations, while noting that attracting foreign investment was critical to improving the Barbadian economy.
“Our project, which will deliver green, affordable energy to the people of Barbados, is a key component of that,” she added.
However, the Cahill CEO opted not to respond to claims by Mottley that the Guernsey-based enterprise had recently agreed to sell the company Cahill Energy Barbados (CEB) and to use the funds raised to promote its own project development business.
“Cahill Energy cannot speculate on these allegations,” she responded.
In an earlier press release, Cowan gave her assurance that the project would bring new jobs and investments to Barbados when it was completed.
She also said they were working with leading international experts to ensure the finished project would be world class.
“Cahill Energy’s Barbados waste-to-energy project will bring new investment, jobs and leading environmental technology to the country. Over the past several days, there has been much discussion about our company and the project we represent. It is our commitment to ensure the people of Barbados understand what this project will mean for them and the future of this country. This project will contribute to a stronger, more prosperous and environmentally secure Barbados,” she said in the press release.