THE GREEN BLOG
11th Nov 2010
Nevis Energy Minister Urges Green Tech Investment By Barbadians Businessmen
Minister responsible for Renewable Energy and the Environment in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Hon. Carlisle Powell urged Barbadian Businessmen to take hold of the many investment opportunities available in green technology.
Mr. Powell made the call when he delivered an address at the International Business Week Conference of the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) in Barbados on Friday October 29, 2010.
He said the time had come for people of the Caribbean to reorient their thinking and to recognise that products should be designed to serve from the cradle to the grave and not the cradle to the landfill.
The Nevis Minister added that the region was well positioned for major investments in business that offered alternative fuels for the growing transportation vehicles and for environmentally friendly vehicles. He pointed to North America, Europe and Brazil who he said had began to utilise used tyres for other useful projects
“They are recycling old tyres and using them to make artificial reefs. They use old tyres to help with soil stabilisation and interestingly, they are recycling the old tyres and using the product to pave roads, parking lots, basketball courts etc.
“We will always have old tyres; we will always have roads to repair and new roads to build. Here is a business opportunity for an investor who is willing to keep the tyres rolling,” he said.
According to Mr. Powell, it was a known fact that the region’s business and political leaders had been slow to embrace alternative sources of energy and new technology, which offered viable business opportunities.
However, the oil crisis had gotten investors increasingly interested in wind energy projects but he questioned the region’s political will to deliver and the social and economic pressure to deliver cheaper energy.
“Ethanol has proved highly successful in Brazil; yet in CARICOM, only Jamaica has mandated the 10percent ethanol fuel mix. Further, with the exception of the wind farms in Nevis and Jamaica and ethanol in Jamaica, which other CARICOM nation has introduced any new sources of alternative energy?” he stated.
Mr. Powell also pointed to the issue of climate change, which in his view would impact international business completion and cause investors to think double green (cash and the environment).
He spoke of the United Nations Millennium Development goal #7 which addressed Environmental Stability and the islands of the Caribbean which would be adversely affected by increased temperatures and rising sea levels.
The Nevis Minister noted that while industrialised countries remained the worst polluters, the small island developing states of the Caribbean whose carbon emissions were miniscule, were not immune to calls to reduce their carbon footprint.
Therefore, due to environmental concerns, aggressive and positive public relations connected with involvement in green technologies, major companies inclusive of oil companies would invest in green technology and it would bring fierce competition.
11th Nov 2010
Harris Paint Get Greener
Harris Paints doing its part to help make Barbados ‘greener’
Effective October 1st 2010, Harris TROWELTEX pails are now refundable upon return to any of Harris’ three convenient locations at Fitts Village, Six Roads and Wildey. For every clean Troweltex pail returned, customers will receive a cash refund of Bds$1.50.
Luke Ticknor, Harris Paints’ Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing confirmed that this project is one of many of Harris’ many ongoing efforts to help make Barbados ‘greener’:
“We are proud to be the first and only paint manufacturer in Barbados to offer a packaging recycling programme….his recycling initiative is a true win-win scenario: it helps our customers lower their costs, and to lower our collective impact on the environment”.
Nicole Garofano, Administrative Director of the Future Centre Trust (FCT) lauded Harris Paints for continually championing good environmental practices and encouraging its customers and the community to follow suit:
“We at the FCT welcome such positive initiatives from Corporate Barbados as it ties in with our Green Business Barbados programme whereby companies can work to attain ‘Green Business’ status lowering their ecological footprint. We hope that consumers and contractors will take advantage of this new Troweltex programme and help reduce the strain on our landfills”.
06th Oct 2010
Scotland District – The Last Green Space to Save
An SOS has gone out to Government to withstand pressure from developers and save the Scotland District from the rapid urban sprawl sweeping across Barbados.
However, president of the Barbados National Trust and historian Dr. Karl Watson believes that the urbanisation of Barbados as it moves towards becoming a city state is “unstoppable”.
“The Scotland District is the last frontier that the real estate barons of this island are going to target, and not only are they going to target it, but they are going to actively develop it,” he warned.
He has reservations about Government’s ability to prevent this kind of development.
“I think that even with the best will in the world and with the imposition of controls and with the full authority that Town and Country Planning has, I think that the economic aspect of development and the economic drivers of development are so gargantuan, so all-consuming, overpowering, that they are going to break down any hurdle that we put in their way to act as a brake on this runaway development.”
The noted historian and archaeologist was delivering a lecture entitled Urbanisation vs. The Countryside: Barbados Becomes a City State at the LB Harcourt Lewis Training Room, Barbados Public Workers Credit Union Headquarters, on Monday night. It was part of the 13th anniversary celebrations of the Urban Development Commission. Watson said the National Trust eagerly awaited the day when the formal Cabinet decision to legally establish the National Park of Barbados would become reality.
“… We need some guarantee that at some point in time in the next 15 or 20 years there will be some green spaces left in this island that we can go out and enjoy. It has to be done,” he said.
With the assistance of maps and photographs spanning three centuries, he illustrated how “urbanisation from the east and urbanisation from the west are meeting”.
The decline in acreage for sugar production from nearly 52 000 acres in 1966 to 17 000 in 2005 was cited as an indication of how agriculture had progressively given way
to housing development.
“From North Point to South Point we are busy cementing over every available square inch that we can,” Watson observed. “We have to say enough is enough. Let us slow this process.”
“Ultimately it moves out of the hands of Government and has to come back to us the people,” he added.
“We have to decide as a people, do we collectively reduce our expectations so that we don’t continue to ruin the environment of this island [or] do we restrain our zeal for consumption?”
06th Oct 2010
80,000 Trees Across Barbados In 5 Years
The National Conservation Commission (NCC) in Barbados is on a mission to plant 80,000 trees in five years:
As part of the National Conservation Commission’s (NCC) programme to reforest Barbados, 20 000 trees have been planted across the island over the past three years.
In 2007, the commission embarked on a project in collaboration with the Organisation of American States, to plant 80 000 trees over a five-year period. Weekes indicated that the project has engaged the energies of schools, youth groups, 4-H Clubs, governmental departments and corporate Barbados.
“I must mention that the success of the project to date has been as a result of the practical involvement of 4-H Clubs and the schools, since they have been actively involved in the propogation of the plants at the NCC’s headquarters on Saturdays.”
On September 30th 2010, the 20,000 figure was announced by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Lionel Weekes, as he delivered the feature remarks at the National Arbor Day celebration ceremony, where NCC donated eight trees to the Charles F. Broome Primary School.
See: the NCC website.
06th Oct 2010
Energy Savings = Millions Of Dollars For Barbados
Experts at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have estimated that turning to renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency could save Barbados $285 million over a 20-year period:
Barbados, for example, has some oil production, but domestic demand greatly exceeds local supply. The country’s dependency on fuel imports represents a significant expenditure and a drain on foreign reserves that affect its economic and social development, as well as the country’s competitiveness.
Around US$208 million were spent on oil imports in 2007, representing about 7 percent of the gross domestic product of Barbados, a level comparable to government expenditure on education. Costly fuels mean Barbadian businesses have a harder time competing in the international marketplace.
But according to recent studies, Barbados can achieve a Sustainable Energy Matrix by 2029. The country can do this by diversifying energy sources to include renewable energies and more efficiency. This will reduce reliance on fossil fuels, improve energy security, reduce electricity costs with energy efficient appliances, and reduce CO2 emissions. An IDB loan for US$45 million will help the government create a sustainable energy framework for Barbados.
“The country has potential for on and off-shore wind energy, biomass cogeneration, waste to energy, as well as solar photovoltaic panels which could be installed in the roofs of the houses, commercial and government buildings,” said IDB energy specialist Christiaan Gischler. “These technologies may operate below the avoided cost of fossil fuel, which would make economic sense for both the utility and end users to embrace this approach. The overall renewable energy economically and commercially viable potential is estimated in 28.9 percent of the total installed capacity of electricity.”
“Also, if the people of Barbados used energy efficiency appliances and technologies, the potential savings generated through this would be 19.4 percent of the total electricity consumption,” added Gischler. “The most cost-effective appliances for the country are, among others, compact fluorescent lamps, power monitors, premium efficiency motors, efficient air conditioning systems, all commercially available or easily made commercially accessible in Barbados.”
30th Aug 2010
Alternative Energy The Way Forward
The alternative energy symposium will be held on September 6th and 7th, and public participation is encouraged.
The Central Bank of Barbados is urging the public to give full support to an upcoming workshop and exhibition on the theme “Alternative Energy: Pathway to a Sustainable Future in Barbados”. The workshop, which is being jointly held by the Central Bank and the Government of Barbados, will take place on September 6th and 7th at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Delisle Worrell, has noted that the aim of the workshop is to aid in charting the way forward for the country’s energy future and to present practical ways for the implementation of alternative energy in Barbados.
“The Central Bank is merely the catalyst to bring together the products, services, plans and information that is already out there, as well as to generate and discuss new ideas. We are inviting the people with the expertise to set up a collaborative network with the relevant government agencies, which will drive forward the development of alternative energy,” Dr Worrell added.
“We want at the end of the meeting, to share a common vision of Barbados’ energy future; one that is realistic and achievable and to see ways that we can each contribute to that future, beginning immediately. And we want to be able to demonstrate to the general public, how everyone can get on board in one way or another,” he concluded.
1st Aug 2010
B’dos Farmers Shell Finally Reach Deal On Oil Spill
After 15 years, Shell oil company and Christ Church farmers angered by an aviation fuel leak on their lands have finally settled the issue of compensation.
Minister of Agriculture, Haynesley Benn, welcomed the financial settlement yesterday, saying: “It makes my heart rejoice” that after so many years farmers “have been able to bring closure to this matter”.
Shell initially offered the farmers $2 million in compensation and later was reported to have raised the offer to $5.5 million, but both sides have kept mum on the size of the new compensation package.
The deal was announced in a statement released by Shell. It is expected to cover 25 of about 33 Christ Church farmers and landowners in a region that includes Gibbons Boggs, Wilcox, Pegwell, Chancery Lane and Ealing Grove.
A dozen or so farmers had reached a settlement with Shell in 2008, after turning their backs on efforts to negotiate as a group with the multinational company.
Shell had faced two lawsuits over the impact the 1995 and 2003 aviation jet A-1 fuel leaks from its Grantley Adams International Airport/Oistins Terminal pipeline had on nearly 200 acres of farmland and on the communities.
The farmers had charged that oil spilling from the seven-mile pipeline wrecked crops, contaminated water supplies, reduced the fertility of the soil, caused a decline in production and earnings and forced some people out of agriculture.
The latest settlement was announced after negotiations between Shell Western Supply & Trading Company Ltd and Hausfeld LLP, an international legal firm with the motto: “Global wrongs must be accountable to global rights. “
Hausfeld LLP was represented in Barbados by Virtus Legal, Alrick Scott’s law firm.
The statement said Shell Western confirmed that the two sides “have reached an amicable settlement in both the lawsuits pertaining to the former underground aviation fuel line”.
“We are happy that the farmers, landowners and Shell have been able to reach a mutual agreement and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the various parties who have demonstrated an interest in this matter and have offered support in its resolution,” general manager of Shell Western, Ian Charman, stated.
3rd July 2010
Serious Need For Photovoltaic Solar Panel Plant
Williams Industries would be willing to invest in such a venture.
A manufacturing plant to produce photovoltaic solar panels to help with the electricity supply in this country is the suggestion local businessman Ralph ‘Bizzy’ Williams has put on the table for Government and the private sector to consider.
He put forward the proposal yesterday morning (25th June 2010) during a seminar hosted by the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) at the Savannah Hotel, where he maintained that Government must realise the importance of renewable energy and make a policy decision in that regard.
“It would make sense for a factory to be established in Barbados to produce solar panels and that a guarantee price be established for that from the factory, and it [would] run 24 hours a day to maximise the efficiency.”
He (also) noted that there is about 9 000 acres of agricultural land in Barbados that is currently not in use, from which the 200 acres needed to set up the power station on which those solar panels would be utilised, could be drawn from.
“We could build up to 50 megawatts of photovoltaic, which would produce the electricity for the Light & Power’s grid when they are at their peak in the day – in the middle of the day is where their peak is highest. That would create lots of employment in Barbados [and] it would establish a world-wide, state-of-the-art plant in Barbados like what Intel was years ago,” he stated.
Read more Barbados Advocate
15th June 2010
Graeme Hall Sanctuary – Offshore Relocation Considered for Rare and Endangered Species
GRAEME HALL NATURE SANCTUARY INC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Offshore Relocation Considered for Rare and Endangered Species
Environmental and security threats at Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary may force relocation of wildlife breeding programmes
[Christ Church, BARBADOS June 15, 2010] Due to increased poaching, illegal trespass and water pollution, Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary has begun negotiations with qualified facilities in North America and Europe to manage its rare and endangered captive breeding programmes.
At stake is the health and welfare of the endangered and captive bird populations in the captive breeding facility, and the Marshland, Gully and Migratory Aviary Exhibits.
In cooperation with the government of St. Vincent, the Sanctuary maintains a captive breeding population of St. Vincent Amazon parrots, one of the rarest parrots on earth with fewer than 600 living in the wild.
The St. Vincent Amazon is the national bird of St. Vincent.
One of the St. Vincent parrots was recently found dead after being assaulted by intruders, and one of the three surviving spoonbill chicks in the Marshland Aviary died after breaking its neck while evading the trespassers. Water quality is also a major concern for the captive breeding programmes. Ongoing pollution and inconsistent water quality supplied to the Sanctuary sometimes overwhelms water treatment facilities located on site.
The uncertain environmental, security and other conditions in Barbados have caused severe stress in the remaining bird population. The problems pose a challenge for the bird-care and maintenance employees, as well as the security personnel who remain at the Sanctuary since it closed over one year ago. The Sanctuary and the surrounding Graeme Hall area is recognized as an international wetland of critical importance and a RAMSAR site under the Convention on Wetlands treaty.
The owner of the Sanctuary, Mr. Peter Allard, has recently made formal allegations that Barbados has illegally dumped tens of thousands of gallons of raw sewage into the wetland instead of using the approved emergency sewerage discharge structure at Worthing Beach, allegedly violating international environmental treaty conditions and Barbados’ environmental protection laws.
Since 1994 Mr. Allard has invested more than $35 million (US) in the 35-acre Sanctuary to preserve the last significant mangrove woodland and wetland on the island.
6th June 2010
Barbados To Have A National Park
The national park on the eastern side of Barbados will strecthed from Archer’s Bay to Consett Bay.
In adddition, the National Heritage Department, together with the Soil Conservaton Unit, wil be involved in the implementation of the national park system. This was reveleaed by the Minister of the Environment, Dr, Denis Lowe whilst speaking at the official opening of the Consett Bay Sustainable Fishing Educational Exposition yesterday morning.
“The proposed national park will seek to ensure that developmental activities in the environmentally sensitive Scotland District utilise sustainable land management approaches while at the same time ensuring that the residents enjoy a high quality of life. Accordingly, communities will be encouraged to boost their livelihoods in a way that is not detrimental to the local ecology through the employment of a number of policy measures”.
Consett Bay was also hailed “as a model of successful integration of economic advancement and environmental prudence” by the Minister Lowe.
“The Consett Bay community and its neighbours have for generations operated as a cohesive, strong, proud entity, using its vibrant fishing heritage as a successful economic base . . . It is our wish that other communities across our island seek to emulate this level of enterprise and entrepreneurship, while being mindful of the delicate balance that must be maintained between socio-economic advancement and environmental sustainability”.
3oth May 2010
National Conservation Commission Continues Commitment To Greening Barbados
The National Conservation Commission in Barbados is celebrating its 40th anniversary:
His vision is to see the National Conservation Commission (NCC) move to a position of financial viability, and contribute even more significantly to “greening” Barbados.
And if the man at the helm of the NCC, Keith Neblett, has his way, Barbados, like some parts of Singapore, will be virtually transformed into one huge “garden”.
With regard to the Singapore -model, Mr. Neblett underscored the need for volunteerism and community participation.
” If you could get everyone in Barbados to come on board, and to really do some beatification and planting around their homes, as well as extend into potential green spaces in the environs … when driving around Barbados one would not be seeing a lot of rab land, where people could go and dump, but instead, it would be green and beautiful,” he contended.
The General Manager also made mention of instituting internal conservation practices to keep conservation high on the department’s agenda. “What we are seeking to do now, is to show the public that whatever we do in the NCC, centres on conservation – whether it is conservation of water, or whether it is concerned with energy or whether in terms of conservation of our soil,” he asserted.
Noting that the department was seeking to embark on programmes to foster energy reduction, Mr. Neblett said in addition to recycling and instituting water-saving devices at a number of facilities, a lot more drip irrigation techniques were also being employed.
“These are some of the areas that we are looking forward to, in terms of trying to reflect the whole “green” aspect of our economy. Down the road, I would also like to see an environment created where we have well-established green spaces in almost every community for Barbadians to go and relax,” he affirmed.
26th May 2010
Amelot Oil and Barbados National Oil Company Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Form Joint Venture
Amelot Holdings, Inc announced today that Amelot Oil and Barbados National Oil Company Ltd.(BNOCL) have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU), with the intent to form a joint venture (JV) in Barbados for the ownership and operation of a biodiesel production facility for the supply of biodiesel fuel.
The JV would enable Amelot and BNOCL to establish a scalable and sustainable biofuels business.
The Barbados National Oil Company is a national state-owned energy provider in the country of Barbados. Founded several decades ago, the company satisfies about 30% of the country’s total consumption of oil and gas.
Amelot Oil, wholly owned by Amelot Holdings, has been operating a production facility in Barbados since 2008. The Amelot Oil Barbados biodiesel plant operates on used cooking oil. By working with such an impure feedstock threatening to pollute the ecosystem, Amelot Oil managed to stand out in Barbados and demonstrated proof of concept and growing demand for alternative fuel.
Biodiesel, for BNOCL, for use in the planned 6 month pilot project to further study the impact of using Biodiesel in Barbados. This phase also calls for a state of the art gas station with B20 fuel pump which is a blend of 20-percent biodiesel and 80-percent conventional diesel.
The MoU envisages that under the second phase Amelot and BNOCL will jointly operate a biodiesel production facility that will utilize containerized modular equipment and proprietary feedstock technology. The modular design and sustainability of the process is expected to produce biodiesel in such quantities as required to support BNOCL’s long term goal of replacing conventional diesel with 100% biodiesel.
“The MoU demonstrates our continued long-term commitment to Barbados. We are looking forward to joining with a leading company there to meet the needs of retail and commercial fuels customers in that growing market. The joint venture would enable Amelot to set up a profitable bio-fuels business, with the potential to deploy next generation technologies. We have been looking for a partner with the resources and scaling capabilities to rapidly industrialize our biodiesel production in Barbados. We are delighted to have found this partner in BNOCL,” stated Fred Guarnieri, President and CEO of Amelot Holdings, Inc.
The current outstanding common shares balance is 4,309,573,155 and the number of authorized shares is 4,925,000,000. Mr. Guarnieri currently owns 736,275,000 shares of the Company’s common stock. There have been no issuances of additional shares since August 2008.
In an earlier press release, Amelot Holdings expect to have agreements signed within the next few weeks with potential partners in Trinidad and Tobago, on the formation of a subsidiary. Namely Amelot Oil Trinidad and Tobago Limited. Resposible for the production and marketing of biodiesel in Trini land. The release states, the Barbados based plant have seen an increase in the cost of processing (since making a ‘small profit’ in January) used cooking oil due to the different kind of grades obtained. These last few months saw the Bajan biodiesel plant just breaking even.
The biodiesel company formerly Native Sun NRG, was conceptualized by Barbadian entrepreneur Handel Callender operating the first commerical biodiesel company in Barbados or 100% Bajan renewable fuel as he calls it before the company was brought over by a US company – Amelot Holdings Inc, a publicly traded company incorporated in the state of Wyoming and headquartered in New York, US after an intial $20,000 plus investment.
26th May 2006
Outdoor Furniture Made From Recycled Milk Bottles
A new company in Barbados is producing eco-friendly outdoor furniture, made from recycled milk bottles:
One new and innovative company in Barbados is focussing on the production of an eco-friendly product.
“Being Sustainable” Managing Director, Dr Auliana Poon, noted that there is a growing importance in today’s environment on being eco friendly and she is doing her part to promote eco friendliness while producing fashionable and trendy outdoor lounge furniture.
…Poon created the Being Sustainable line of outdoor furniture made entirely of recycled plastic milk bottles, mainly targeting those in the hospitality industry.
Poon told the Business Monday, “We don’t have a choice today. Producing an eco-friendly product is important to help save the environment but to demonstrate that we can do so much to save costs as well.”
Read more Barbados Advocate.26th May 2010
Elephant Grass For Local Furniture Company Pays Off
Matrix Marketing Manager Director, Rudolph Sandiford is switching to indigenous Bajan products in its upscale furniture line. Th line catering to hotels, villas, real estate development groups and Barbadians have a major deal pending to supply two of the hotels in the Elegant Hotels Group.
“What we’re been doing for the last year-and-a-half to two years since the recession, is that we went into experimentation mode. We had to change the tradition things we were doing so we would be in a much better position to withstand even a recession – so we went into different finishes.
“What you see here on this bed-head and on the floor is just one of the finishes, this is elephant grass that is available locally in Barbados that we are actually making products from. We’re using klus-klus grass, flamboyant, woman’s tongue…a whole variety of different things and are indignous to Barbados.”