Minister: Landfilling As Tynes Bay Is Repaired

November 26, 2021 | 9 Comments

While the  Tynes Bay facility is being repaired, the Ministry is “preparing for its last resort for waste disposal – and that is reopening a portion of Marsh Folly for landfilling,” Acting Minister of Public Works Wayne Furbert said, adding that “we anticipate needing to landfill for a period of perhaps one to two weeks while the boiler repairs are completed.”

Speaking in the House of Assembly today [Nov 26] the Minister said, “I rise to provide the House with an update on the present critical status of the Tynes Bay facility.

“The Tynes Bay facility is our only means of Municipal solid waste disposal and should the facility fail, it will mean the country reverting to landfilling. Mr. Speaker, sadly I must report that we may very soon be at that point.

“For the last two weeks since my initial report, a crew of specialist boilermakers from Europe have been working non-stop to make repairs to both boiler units at the plant. At the same time, our contingency system, which normally bales refuse during these times of outages, also suffered a critical failure.

“With the tentative timeframe to have both boilers back in operation being still two weeks away, we will simply not have room to store anymore garbage.

“As such, the Ministry is now preparing for its last resort for waste disposal – and that is reopening a portion of Marsh Folly for landfilling.

“We had hoped to avoid this outcome and have done so for the last ten years….but at this point the options are few.

“We anticipate needing to landfill for a period of perhaps one to two weeks while the boiler repairs are completed and the baling system is repaired. Once these alternatives are available, the landfilling will stop.

“The $10m we are planning to spend now only addresses the boilers, which are at the heart of the plant and the most vulnerable at this time. But there are still many critical auxiliary systems at Tynes Bay that are past obsolescence that can just as easily shutdown the plant if they are not soon replaced. So with life restored to the boilers, time will be of the essence to pursue the full solution of the $150m investment.

“I’m pleased to report that the Ministry of Public Works in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance are meeting urgently to find creative financing solutions for such a large sum in our present financial state.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to provide the House with an update on the present critical status of the Tynes Bay facility.

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago on November 10th, in a press conference, I spoke of the critical state of Tynes Bay and our need to invest heavily for it not to fail. This morning, I will give an update of the ongoing battle the engineers and technicians at Tynes Bay are waging to get the plant back up and running – and the serious challenges we are all facing in terms of the island’s ability to dispose of its waste.

Mr. Speaker, the Tynes Bay facility is our only means of Municipal solid waste disposal and should the facility fail, it will mean the country reverting to landfilling. Mr. Speaker, sadly I must report that we may very soon be at that point.

For the last two weeks since my initial report, a crew of specialist boilermakers from Europe have been working non-stop to make repairs to both boiler units at the plant. At the same time, our contingency system, which normally bales refuse during these times of outages, also suffered a critical failure.

In addition, Covid-19 and supply chain issues in Europe has exacerbated the repair of the baler, to the point where our own employees had to skillfully fabricate replacement parts, using 3D printing technology, to rebuild a hydraulic ram. But sadly, even these efforts to get the system up and running, have failed.

Mr. Speaker, while we do have a replacement ram being air freighted, the timing for its arrival and the space left in the bunker to stock pile the refuse that is collected daily are simply at odds. In order to preserve what little space we have left, Bulky Waste material is already being diverted for shredding at the Marsh Folly location for later disposal at Tynes Bay, but even this will not buy us the amount of time we need.

Mr. Speaker, with the tentative timeframe to have both boilers back in operation being still two weeks away, we will simply not have room to store anymore garbage.

As such, the Ministry is now preparing for its last resort for waste disposal – and that is reopening a portion of Marsh Folly for landfilling.

We had hoped to avoid this outcome and have done so for the last ten years….but at this point the options are few.

We anticipate needing to landfill for a period of perhaps one to two weeks while the boiler repairs are completed and the baling system is repaired. Once these alternatives are available, the landfilling will stop.

While time is not on our side, we as a government are committed to doing something about it. I reported two weeks ago that we are looking to invest some $7.5M into the plant to get it to a point of stabilization. Since that time, engineers have now received the actual pricing from specialized Waste-to-Energy Contractor ICE AG out of Switzerland for the full scope of works necessary to get the boilers through the next three to four years. While our original in house estimates were close, the true pricing is closer to $8.5 mil dollars.

That cost may still increase as much of it is based on the cost of steel and other materials, which are changing rapidly due to the global supply chain crisis.

Mr. Speaker, with the cost of baling and other associated works such as Quality Assurance for insurance purposes, crane hire and other on island logistics added to this figure, the final total for the project may be closer to 9 to 10 million dollars and will take about 11 weeks for each boiler to be repaired. While this may seem like a lot money, for comparison, the cost of full replacement, which is what we really need at this point, is closer to $150m

And to be clear, the $10m we are planning to spend now only addresses the boilers, which are at the heart of the plant and the most vulnerable at this time. But there are still many critical auxiliary systems at Tynes Bay that are past obsolescence that can just as easily shutdown the plant if they are not soon replaced. So with life restored to the boilers, time will be of the essence to pursue the full solution of the $150m investment.

I’m pleased to report that the Ministry of Public Works in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance are meeting urgently to find creative financing solutions for such a large sum in our present financial state.

Mr. Speaker, as mentioned, with the effects of the pandemic on supply chain and even getting people mobilized, these costs cannot be cast in stone and we are constantly balancing the risk of getting support here as quickly as possible while also providing Covid safety.

With the support of our specialist contractor we are aiming to execute the works in February of next year, leaving little time to even prepare, but the contractors and the Ministry are committed to getting the work done as soon as possible.

I will endeavor to continue to give updates on this critical work as it transpires.

Thank you Mr. Speaker

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Comments (9)

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  1. Observer says:

    Disgraceful management of our island infrastructure by every government for the past 50 years.

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    “While the Tynes Bay facility is being repaired, the Ministry is “preparing for its last resort for waste disposal – and that is reopening a portion of Marsh Folly for landfilling,” Acting Minister of Public Works Wayne Furbert said”

    Why is it that whenever there is bad news the PLP Government trots out former UBP leader Wayne Furbert?

  3. puzzled says:

    The Acting Minister also added that he will be importing Cranes from Spital Pond to help out.
    Comic show going on; and the whole world is a stage.

    My cousins and I will put this to our friends and family plan after libations.

  4. Guy Carri says:

    THERE IS NO MONEY IN THE KITTY!!!!!

    We need private investment to keep our everyday assets from failing!
    Soon we will privatize our roads and have them tolled!!

  5. Ringmaster says:

    If the incinerator had an expected life span of 25 years, why wasn’t there proper funding put aside over that time frame to have the money available to replace it? Seems like the same old incompetence from the Public Sector managers, aided by Ministers with no experience of running a business. So much for Roban’s visit to COP26 and bragging about Bermuda’s environmental initiatives.

    • Question says:

      The usual inadequate poor planning. They wait until there’s a crisis, then blame everyone else.

    • Stumped says:

      You are spot on ring Master but guess what else the same person who was responsible for Tynes bay is now big chief in charge of W&E you can’t make this up.

  6. Truth is killin' me,,, says:

    Jokers…the lot of them! UBP, OBA and PLP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Albertinbermuda says:

    So the bailing system has failed.

    Please explain the reason for a failure for a piece of PWD equipment that is rarely used not to be available at what appears to be a critical moment. How often is it serviced….probably not for a long time.

    Was it just disregard after its use a decade ago? Does PWD even know where this critical
    Piece of backup infrastructure is? Assuming they do, when will it be back on line as I suspect it will be needed for much longer than 2 weeks.

    Surely the Minister, not a surrogate, should release ongoing statements to give us hope that this emergency is under control.

    If not, why not? And if not WHEN????

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