As Barbados aims to become fossil-fuel free by 2030, the Barbados National Terminal Company Limited (BNTCL) must not become a “stranded asset”.
And as part of efforts to remain relevant, it has commissioned a pilot study on the viability of biodiesel, a safer biofuel which can be used to power vehicles.
Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds made the declaration today during the official opening of the Maintenance Annex at the BNTCL.
He explained that biodiesel could be utilized by persons who were not in a position to make the switch to electric vehicles.
“The BNTCL, I’m sure you will agree, must not become a stranded asset in Barbados, so I want to congratulate the board and the members of staff on the pilot study that you are now doing which is aimed at ensuring that you test various blends of diesel so that there can be a rollout of biodiesel in Barbados which will enable those persons who are not in a position over the course of the next nine years or so to transition their vehicle to being electrified.
“They will be in a position where, through the use of biofuels, biodiesel in particular, you will be able to maintain your vehicle on the road in a manner and circumstance which is in keeping with the obligations set out by the National Energy Policy,” Symmonds said.
“In the third quarter of this year, that pilot study should be rolled out so that the group fleet of BNOCL Group of Companies will be able to demonstrate as a proof of concept the viability of this biodiesel fuel so that it would be ready for wider public utility.”
However, Symmonds said the BNTCL would continue to provide fossil fuel for the aviation industry.
The minister also revealed plans for a US$20 million five megawatt photovoltaic farm to be built on the grounds of the BNTCL.
He said while Cabinet had granted its approval two weeks ago, they were awaiting the lease from the Ministry of Housing for the project to commence.
Symmonds said the BNTCL would also be facilitating the sale of photovoltaic systems for consumers in Barbados.
He said the BNTCL had already made two kilowatt photovoltaic systems for members of its staff.
Speaking on the opening of the new building, chief executive officer of BNTCL, James Browne said he was pleased workers now had a spanking new facility to work in after having to work in container houses.
He said the new building would accommodate 10 persons inclusive of administrative maintenance staff. (SM)