No Town Planning approval for Cahill
It seems the controversial Cahill waste-to-energy project, the subject of heated public discussion here over the past few weeks, is yet to clear major approval hurdle before it can be considered a done deal for future waste management on the island
Responding today to questions during a panel discussion at the July business luncheon of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Minister of Commerce and Industry Donville Inniss said he was not aware that anything related to the $700 million project had been sent so far to the Town
and Country Planning Department for approval.
Environmentalists, alternative energy proponents, and residents have objected to the plasma gasification plant earmarked to go up at Vaucluse, St Thomas, saying it posed a number of social and environmental threats.
Asked what information he could give on the project, Inniss said: “The Cahill project that is being talked about has not yet attracted the attention of the Town and Country Planning Department. We still have to realize that whatever one may say, we still have processes to go through including the environmental impact assessment and the Town and Country Planning approval. And to the best of my knowledge that has not yet been granted.”
Inniss said public discussion on the project was “healthy” and Government was certainly “listening”. He added: “Perhaps what the Government needs to do is talk a little bit more and get ahead of the narrative and let people know exactly what is going on”.
The waste-to-energy plant, once up and running, is expected to generate about 25 per cent of the island’s power requirement, which would be sold to the Barbados Light & Power Company. However, Peter Williams, managing director of Emera Caribbean Limited which owns the local power company, said as far as he was aware, no such discussions had taken place with the utility company as yet.
“I am not saying it wouldn’t happen or come to the fore at some point. I am just saying to date it is not a discussion we have been
having,” said Williams, who added he was not familiar with the ins and outs of the Cahill project.