$100m renewable plant’s jobs boost

More than 50 permanent, desperately needed jobs will be created if a renewable energy supplier obtains an agreement to supply Grand Bahama Power Company with energy from Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), Tribune Business was told yesterday, with the proposed plant able to supply between 15-30 Mega Watts (MW) within 10 months of starting operations.

The business plan for E-Fuels Bahamas, a copy of which has been seen by this newspaper, said the energy supplier had obtained $100 million in financing from the US Export-Import Bank, and – if its project was approved – could sell the power it produced to either the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) or Grand Bahama Power at $0.13 per kilowatt hour.

This, the plan said, would pass “substantial savings” on to Bahamian residential and commercial electricity users, with fuel surcharges reduced and the Bahamas driven a step further down the road to environmentally-friendly, sustainable energy that could stabilise power prices.

“With respect to employment, the local economy is expected to realise the full benefit from the job and payroll estimate,” E Fuels Bahamas’ project overview said. “The green power plant jobs and the construction activity for both phases will also create a number of jobs indirectly from the project-related spending, and the spending decisions of plant, trucking and construction workers.

“The number of indirect or induced jobs created in the Grand Bahama economy is estimated at 450 jobs over the two project phases. From a short-term socioeconomic point of view, the plant itself and the related construction activity will immediately provide as many as 348 much needed jobs for Grand Bahama residents.

“A more long-term economic benefit of a reliable and sustainable green power source will be the attracting of other businesses to Freeport, Grand Bahama, and the expansion of existing businesses.”

The plant will operate as a green power gasifier, turning Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) into gas to generate energy. The gas will be taken to a Heat Recovery System Generator (HRSG), which converts it into steam to power a turbine.

“The turbine will generate electricity that will be sent to the grid for power use. The project is proposed in two phases, each phase having the capability to produce up to 35 MW (gross) or 30 MW (net) in two phases of renewable (green) power,” E Fuels Bahamas said. That power volume is significant, given that Grand Bahama’s maximum electricity demand in 2009 was 73 MW.

RDF is generated from municipal solid waste, and is a blend of paper and plastic, with chipped tyres added in to generate extra heat. It is derived, E Fuels Bahamas said, from residential waste, not industrial waste, with glass and metals removed.

“The initial feedstock for the green power plant will be prepared RDF shipped from West Palm Beach at a blend of 70% RDF and 30% tires (blended onsite),” the company added. “The prepared RDF is baled, plastic wrapped and put into standard sea-going containers for shipment to West Palm Beach, Florida by rail and ultimately Freeport, Grand Bahama.”

Implementing waste-to-energy and other renewable energy projects in the Bahamas, E Fuels Bahamas said, would reduce this nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, as well as fossil fuel imports, and boost energy security.


“The [former] is especially important given that the annual average emission of 6.7 tons of CO2 per person makes the Bahamas among the highest per capita emitters of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) in the world,” E Fuels Bahamas said. “This could generate an interesting potential to sell Carbon Emission Reductions (CERs) through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) developed under the Kyoto Protocol.

“The E-Fuels Project will reduce The Bahamas’ carbon footprint by producing green power.

“More importantly, the project is designed to encourage the local power company to provide a lower cost of power to residents, business and industry, while improving the reliability through diversified power-generating source and site.”


Source: The Tribune