Tynes Bay Facility Stabilisation Programme

October 4, 2022 | 0 Comments

The current state of the Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility is “incapable of lasting this time to await the major refurbishments to commence,” Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch said in the House of Assembly, with the Minister explaining that in order to “preserve the Facility until major maintenance can begin, the Cabinet has recently approved a stabilisation programme of projects.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to provide a further update on the Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility.

Honourable members may recall in February of this year, the then Acting Minister advised this House on the One Hundred and Fifty Million dollars [BMD $150,000,000.00] Capital Programme for the refurbishment of the Waste to Energy facility and the commencement of said programme.

Though the Ministry continues to advance the initiative, additional challenges have arisen since the aforementioned announcement such as the catastrophic failure of one [1] of the two [2] overhead refuse cranes which happened in April of this year. During normal operation of the crane, the entire hoist and access platform collapsed as the support welds failed due to excessive fatigue.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to state that no one was injured during this incident, but it does highlight the critical nature of works under the Refurbishment Programme.

Mr. Speaker, out of an abundance of caution, the remaining crane was then inspected and emergency repairs to the welds were completed leaving it as the only operational crane available for the next several months – consequently slowing daily operations and putting the redundancy of the plant at risk while also compromising the existing contingency plan.

Mr. Speaker, to further exacerbate the situation, the Ministry has been notified by vendors connected to the refurbishment programme that there are significant delays in product delivery times attributed to global supply chain issues resulting from the fallout of the Covid-19 Pandemic and ensuing economic climate. Thusly, affecting the commencement of the refurbishment works.

Delivery times for specialized equipment have been extended by some twelve [12] weeks and in certain instances – up to forty-two [42] weeks. The delay has a cascading effect which pushes the initial five [5] year plan, back further to an unspecified date.

Colleagues will know that I don’t mince my words … the current state of the Facility is incapable of lasting this time to await the major refurbishments to commence.

Therefore Mr. Speaker, to preserve the Facility until major maintenance can begin, the Cabinet has recently approved a stabilisation programme of projects that focuses on replacing critical systems required to bridge the gap between their current condition and the newly renovated Facility at an estimated cost of Twenty-Two Million dollars [$22,000,000.00].

To avoid any confusion Mr. Speaker, let me be clear – the funding for this programme will be drawn down from the previously announced One Hundred and Fifty Million dollar [BMD $150,000,000.00] Capital Programme.

Mr. Speaker, these projects specifically target failed or obsolete systems that can be replaced without major disruption to the daily operations at Tynes Bay and will be integrated into the overall refurbishment works to avoid wasted expenditure. These upgraded systems are intended to assimilate seamlessly with the larger refurbishment works.

This stabilisation programme includes:

  • the replacement of two [2] overhead refuse cranes,
  • the low voltage switchgear system,
  • the high voltage switchgear systems,
  • two [2] auxiliary transformers,
  • the flue gas monitoring equipment,
  • turbine overhaul; and,
  • various instruments associated with the feed water tanks system and sea water band screens.

Additionally, this programme will refurbish the top sections of both flues [opening of the smoke chimneys]. The estimated programme length is set at three [3] years with the tendering process for this stabilisation program already started and works intended to begin within the first quarter of 2023.

Mr. Speaker, colleagues are informed of the urgent nature of this programme as due to supply chain issues, delivery times of twenty [20] to thirty [30] months is anticipated for specialised equipment and this delay will pose a significant operational risk to the Facility.

Mr. Speaker, you will be familiar with the exercise of trash baling during extended periods of partial or full plant inoperability. During the execution of these works it is not expected that they will directly cause any baling to be required. However, technical officers have curated a garbage baling contingency plan if such an event arises. Two [2] prepared areas are available for bale storage if required, the Tynes Bay contingency yard and an overflow site at Marsh Folly. Mr. Speaker, colleagues can be assured that all bales shall be returned to Tynes Bay for proper disposal.

The programme will see five [5] projects completed by the end of the fiscal year 2023/24 and one [1] project to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2024/25. The project contracts will be placed for all six [6] projects in the current fiscal year with individual project costs being spread over three [3] fiscal years totalling an estimated Twenty-Two Million dollars [BMD $22,000,000.00].

Fiscal Year Estimated Funding Required [BMD]
2022 – 2023 $7,000,000.00
2023 – 2024 $14,000,000.00
2024 – 2025 $1,000,000.00
Total $22,000,000.00

Mr. Speaker, during this fiscal year [2022/23], the Ministry was allocated Three Million dollars [BMD $3,000,000.00] towards the refurbishment programme which is substantially less than the required funding to execute maintenance on the Facility. To execute the stabilisation programme, there is a requirement for an additional Seven Million dollars [BMD $7,000,000.00] worth of Capital investment this current fiscal year [2022/23]. The remaining funds are set to be requested through the 2023/24 budget process under the previously authorised One Hundred and Fifty Million dollars [BMD $150,000,000.00] overall refurbishment programme as detailed above.

Mr. Speaker, colleagues shall recall the national disruption caused by the inoperability of the Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility and the unfortunate alternatives faced due to circumstances in November 2021 whereas over the course of several weeks approximately four hundred and ten [410] tons of refuse was landfilled at the Marsh Folly facility contrary to good practice and previous public commitments to avoid a repeat of this practice.

Mr. Speaker, I want to stress in the strongest possible terms that the risk of a catastrophic failure is very real. The plant has a number of issues that threaten the functionality of the plant – particularly the single overhead refuse crane – which if it fails will render the plant inoperable and the baling of trash will be inevitable. Bailing will also have to be performed in another location with garbage diverted to this new site along with storage. Every effort is being made to replace the broken crane as soon as possible.

It is anticipated that with funding dedicated for the stabilisation works over the next two [2] fiscal years to procure the critical parts for the Facility mentioned above, the Tynes Bay team can focus their efforts on the major refurbishment works that will manage the country’s waste requirements for the next twenty-five [25] years.

Mr. Speaker, again I would like to thank the management and staff of Tynes Bay, ably led by Mr. Nasir Wade, Plant Manager, the Ministry of Public Works and Ministry of Finance for their efforts in ensuring that the Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility Stabilisation Programme has been implemented.

Thank you Mr. Speaker!

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