Minister: Plant Upgrade Needed At Tynes Bay

July 23, 2021 | 2 Comments

The Tynes Bay Facility is “now over 25 years old” and some components “are reaching the end of their useful life” so a “total plant upgrade —which will span some three to five years — needs to start now,” it was announced today.

The statement was delivered in the House of Assembly today [July 23] and it was in the name of Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch, however was delivered by Minister Diallo Rabain.

The statement said, “I would like to provide this Honourable House with a report on the now critical status of the Tynes Bay Waste-to-Energy Facility, what it means to us as a community and what the government is currently doing about it.

“The plant is now over 25 years old and has undergone one major refurbishment some ten years ago. While this investment has prolonged the life of the plant, there are now components that are reaching the end of their useful life with full replacement being the only option. This means that a total plant upgrade—which will span some three to five years—needs to start now.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I would like to provide this Honourable House with a report on the now critical status of the Tynes Bay Waste-to-Energy Facility, what it means to us as a community and what the government is currently doing about it.

Mr. Speaker, the Tynes Bay Facility, located on Palmetto Road in Devonshire, is a mass burn waste-to-energy plant which combusts refuse and produces high pressure steam for power production; generating some One Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand Kilowatt-hours [125,000 kWh] per day.

Most of that power is sold onto the Belco power grid, but about a third of it is utilized internally, both to power the plant itself as well as the Tynes Bay Seawater Reverse Osmosis plant next door, which produces some Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand [750,000] gallons of fresh water per day, all from renewable energy.

Mr. Speaker, you will recall, that due to the synergistic relationship with the Reverse Osmosis plant, Tynes Bay was mentioned as an integral part of the Water and Waste Water Master plan.

This plan will see Tynes Bay repurposed as a renewable energy hub for a combined Waste and Water Utility that will treat sewage and produce both potable and non-potable water with garbage as its primary energy source. We have high hopes for the success of this project as it will create a number of environmental benefits for the island as well as provide new opportunities for creative financing for the government. But while this plan will provide for the future, we unfortunately still need to deal with the here and now.

Mr. Speaker, the Waste and Water Master Plan remains the long term solution for Tynes Bay and the water and waste water infrastructure in general, but unfortunately time has caught up with us and the plant’s current state now requires swift action even ahead of the Waste and Water Master plan.

Many of you may recall that the plant is now over 25 years old and has undergone one major refurbishment some ten years ago. While this investment has prolonged the life of the plant, there are now components that are reaching the end of their useful life with full replacement being the only option. This means that a total plant upgrade—which will span some three to five years—needs to start now.

Mr. Speaker, it is truly hard to depict the true value the service Tynes Bay provides to our community. While many focus on the collection [or sometimes non-collection] of our garbage, few are fully aware of what happens to that garbage once it leaves our curb sides week in and week out by the dedicated collections teams.

To many it just magically disappears, but to the engineers, technicians and skilled personnel who work at Tynes Bay, it is a constant battle to process the never ending stream of garbage which arrives at a rate of some 200 to 300 tons per day.

If not for Tynes Bay, that same garbage would find itself either destroying what’s left of Pembroke Marsh—in the form of an un- engineered landfill—or festering on our curbsides and being burned in trash barrels like we used to do decades ago. This will result in an increase in the rodent population that no one wants to see.

Mr. Speaker, this is certainly not the Bermuda we wish to return to and thus it should be somewhat sobering to hear, that with the current state of the plant, we could return to those conditions at any time…if we do nothing.

So while I have painted a bleak outlook of the present reality, and it is indeed reality, I also wish to reassure the public that this government has chosen to face this reality head on and has already approved the go ahead of a full refurbishment of the facility ahead of the Waste and Water Master plan.

Tynes Bay is simply too important a service to let fail and while there will be years of hard work to arrive at a final solution, I can assure you that work towards that final solution has already begun.

Mr. Speaker, I will continue to give updates of this work as it unfolds and will keep the public abreast of our challenges, solutions and inevitable successes.

Thank you Mr. Speaker

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Comments (2)

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  1. wahoo says:

    Yes let us hurry and do this. The bridges, trash trucks, busses and all the other stuff can wait.

  2. LOL (original) says:

    You mean this was not know until now? Should this not be look at on regular intervals so budgets and planning can be made to keep the plant running in a seamless manor.

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