Estwick to have his say on waste-to-energy project
Being first does not mean Barbados is a guinea pig.
This from the outspoken Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick on the Cahill Energy waste-to-energy project, who revealed today that he planned to comment on the controversial plant by the end of this week.
Dr Estwick said he had yet to familiarize himself with all the details, but he would conduct his own research in the coming days in an attempt to “understand all of the commotion” that has surrounded the enterprise.
Once that was done, he said, he would tell the country what he felt about the project.
“I intend to go and do the requisite research very, very soon and try to understand all of the commotion that has developed in Barbados. I will do that within this week and educate myself and then I will be in a position to tell Barbadians whether they have anything to fear, or to say these are areas where you have to mitigate against,” he told the media at the conclusion of a ceremony to mark the completion of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) and Ionics Freshwater Limited’s (IFL) project.
The Minister, who indicated his background was in chemistry and physics, said he was hearing “some things which make no sense whatsoever”.
However, he gave an insight into his thinking by stating that while he understood some of the concerns being raised by those opposed to the construction of the $700 million plasma gasification plant, there was nothing wrong with Barbados being the first country in the Caribbean to construct such an industrial unit.
Making reference to the introduction of free secondary education here, Dr Estwick cautioned the country against turning being first into something negative.
“There are many countries right now in the world who still feel we should not have free secondary education and there is nothing wrong with being the first. People who are afraid of being the first don’t understand science and technology. It doesn’t mean that you are a guinea pig, it might mean that you are innovators and creators,” Dr Estwick said.
The project, scheduled to be built in Vaucluse, St Thomas by the Guernsey-based Cahill Energy, has faced stiff opposition from Barbadians who question its viability and possible environmental impact. (RB)