Deltro executive fires back at Bizzy
Chief Financial Officer of Deltro Group Dean Del Mastro has hit back at local business mogul Ralph Bizzy Williams, saying the Barbadian entrepreneur’s recent comments regarding the multi-million dollar solar power project served “to mislead the people of Barbados on the intentions of Deltro”.
In an interview Wednesday with Barbados TODAY, Williams expressed reservations about the construction of a 20 megawatt solar farm on 70 acres of land by the Canadian-owned energy firm, warning that if permission were given for the project it would be an unjust act against local alternative energy entrepreneurs, whose efforts at getting similar treatment continued to fail.
However, in a hard-hitting statement Thursday to Barbados TODAY, Del Mastro said Williams’ comments seemed to encourage a Barbados that was “closed to investment, closed to massive export economy and closed to building a more prosperous future for the people of Barbados”.
“By extension his comments also cause me to wonder why he competes for business throughout the Caribbean if he really believes what he is saying. The logic of his argument has to lead one to the conclusion that his business activities on other islands are hurting the economies, companies and workers in those locations. For obvious reasons one would understand why he wouldn’t want the logic of his argument applied to his own business activities and opportunities outside Barbados,” Del Mastro reasoned.
“Deltro Group Ltd is a Barbados-based company as are its affiliates Deltro Solar and Deltro Caribbean Corporation, complete with Barbados-based bank accounts. Deltro will employ Barbadians, hundreds of them in fact, and will be investing hundreds of millions of dollars into the Barbados economy.
“Deltro is not seeking to take anything away from Barbados; in fact quite the opposite is true. Deltro is building an export focused business that will sells its goods internationally for US dollars and pay all of its workers and expenses in Barbados dollars. All of which is expansionary for the Barbados economy, benefits Barbadians and supports the foreign exchange system employed by the Central Bank in Barbados,” he added.
Further stressing why the project was needed, the renewable energy official said the proposed solar field was intended to showcase the skills and products of Deltro Group and Deltro Solar throughout the region, adding that in doing so it would also showcase the skills of Barbadians, since they would be the ones employed by the company.
Pointing out that no company in Barbados had ever undertaken a similar project, Del Mastro said the company was “presently one of only a handful of leading renewable companies worldwide that has the experience and capability necessary to build the type of cutting edge system” that had been proposed.
“In this regard, Deltro is clearly positioning Barbados as a technology leader throughout the region and establishing a clear centre of excellence that will serve to benefit the Barbados economy tremendously as a key player in the fastest growing segment of the global economy,” he said.
He added that the “clearest example” of why the investment by Deltro was important for the future of the island was the solar site being built at St Lucy by the Barbados Light and Power (BL&P).
“While I applaud the investment into renewable generation being made by BL&P, the fact that they hired a Spanish/German group to design and build the project demonstrates that companies like Williams Solar and others do not have the necessary experience to compete for these projects,” he said.
“Deltro has built dozens of industrial ground mount solar sites, we have a team of engineers that specialize in these very projects and we will teach the lessons we have learned to the companies and workers of Barbados that we will employ during the construction of the Waterford site. Every company and individual that takes part will be able to sell themselves to others as having taken part in the construction of the cutting-edge Waterford site which will only serve to help them grow their business in Barbados and beyond,” he added.
Stating that there was no downside for residents, only “incredible opportunities”, Del Mastro concluded that anyone against the proposal was “either protecting their personal interests or simply objecting for objections sake”.
When the solar firm executive spoke to Barbados TODAY last December, he said the company had received “some tax concessions and some import concessions” from Government, but insisted that the Barbadian taxpayer would not be asked to fund any part of the project.
The Barbados Renewable Energy Association, the local non government organization that focuses on renewable energy, immediately demanded from the Freundel Stuart administration details of the special concessions and asked whether the project would meet acceptable standards.
Just two days after announcing plans for the project, it emerged that Del Mastro, a former Canadian parliamentarian, had spent one night in jail in June last year for overspending on his electoral campaign in 2008, before he was released on bail pending an appeal,
His cousin and President of the DELTRO Group David Del Mastro, had also been charged with wrongful contributions to Dean’s 2008 campaign.