Junior Minister Updates On Tynes Bay Facility

December 19, 2022

Junior Minister of Public Works Senator Leslie Robinson provided a ”fulsome update on the progress of the Tynes Bay Waste-to-Energy Refurbishment Programme” in the Senate.

The Junior Minister’s full statement follows below:

Madam President, I have received the Parliamentary Questions from Senator Douglas S. J. DeCouto and am providing the response via this means to both answer his questions as well as provide a more fulsome update on the progress of the Tynes Bay Waste-to-Energy Refurbishment Programme.

Madam President in February 2022, the then Acting Minister of Public Works advised the Honourable House of Assembly on the projected One Hundred and Fifty Million dollars [BMD $150,000,000.00] Capital Programme for the complete refurbishment of the Waste to Energy facility and the commencement of said programme.

Subsequent to that announcement, the substantive Minister provided an update to the Honourable House in September of this year informing of the Tynes Bay Stabilisation Programme at the estimated sum of Twenty-Two Million dollars [$22,000,000.00] over the next [3] fiscal years.

Madam President, please indulge me while I recapitulate what was detailed by the Honourable Minister in said statement:

1. Additional challenges have arisen since the original refurbishment programme announcement such as the catastrophic failure of one [1] of the two [2] overhead refuse cranes in April 2022 – in which no one was injured – however has slowed daily operations;

2. Delivery Times for procurements have increased significantly attributed to global supply chain issues resulting from the fallout of the Covid-19 Pandemic and current economic climate – affecting commencement of refurbishment works;

3. The original plan which would see all refurbishment works completed within five [5] years will be pushed back to an unspecified date and the Facility is incapable of lasting this time to await the major refurbishments to commence;

4. To preserve the Facility and reduce the risk of catastrophic failure, the Cabinet authorised the three [3] year Tynes Bay Stabilisation Programme which will see a number of projects commence to bridge the gap between their current condition and the newly renovated Facility. These will see the repair or 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; and

5. The cost of this programme will be spread over three [3] fiscal years with – Seven Million dollars [BMD $7,000,000.00] in this fiscal year; Fourteen Million dollars [BMD $14,000,000.00] next fiscal year [2023/24]; and finally One Million dollars [BMD $1,000,000.00] in the 2024/25 fiscal year.

Madam President, I cannot emphasize enough – the overall refurbishment of the Tynes Bay Facility is a vast and complex undertaking of national importance and I am pleased to say that works have already commenced.

To date the Ministry has been focusing its efforts on critical plant upgrades which have been identified using the following criteria: 1] Equipment already critically failed; 2] Equipment obsolete thus repairs are not feasible; and 3] Equipment that will likely fail within the next twenty [24] months that has potential to shut down the entire plant.

Bearing in mind these criteria – since the refurbishment programme commencement the following work has been completed:

  • Clinker Crane Replacement;
  • Main UPS Battery Replacement;
  • Bulky Waste Shear Overhaul;
  • Feedwater pump 2 Replacement; and
  • Boiler # 2 – critical tube replacements and system replacements

Madam President, as aforementioned the Stabilisation Programme will see the following works beginning or completed within the next calendar year on:

  • the Feedwater # 1 Replacement [works currently underway];
  • the Boiler # 2 – critical tube replacements and system replacements;
  • the Refuse Crane Replacement;
  • the Band Screen Replacement;
  • the Replacement of Plant Transformers;
  • the Low Voltage Switch Gear; and
  • the High Voltage Switch Gear

However, it should be made clear that the work ongoing and scheduled is not the full extent of renovations/upgrades required for the Tynes Bay plant. The full renovation requires a much larger capital project that has already been mentioned and the preparation for which is advancing concurrently to these critical upgrades.

Madam President, I reiterate this is a large project which has required mechanical and electrical specialists over the years, not just in the past but in the future as well. These individuals would be a mix of both international – used primarily for specific projects; and local specialist to assist in facilitating the completion of works for smaller projects.

Madam President and Senate colleagues, you may recall critical work on the Tynes Bay facility dates back to 2020.

Madam President, the first critical work project geared towards maintaining the plant occurred at the end of 2020 which saw:

  • Seventy [70] Works and Engineering Staff support aspects of emergency repairs such as providing labour support, mechanical support and electrical support;
  • Forty [40] local Contractors and Companies support the project by providing equipment, Accommodations, Material suppliers, Engineering Expertise, Transport, General Supplies, Mechanical and Electrical contractor, construction and cleaning staff; and
  • Twenty-One [21] Overseas Consultants which supported and performed specialized work for Emergency boiler and plant system malfunctions.

Madam President, a second critical work project associated with the Major Boiler took place in August of 2021 involved the aforementioned seventy [70] Works and Engineering staff, approximately fifty [50] different local contractors and sixty [60] overseas contractors performing similar functions as just mentioned.

Madam President, a third critical work project associated with the Major Boiler commenced in September of this year and is due for completion in April of 2023 which will similarly involve the same labour requirements of approximately seventy [70] Works and Engineering staff, fifty [50] local contractors and sixty [60] overseas contractors.

Madam President, as work is currently ongoing for both the refurbishment programme and stabilisation programme simultaneously the financial costs associated is complex and not easily conveyed as each contract, invoice and/or fee is submitted in different and various ways. For example – the purchasing equipment from a vendor may only require an initial deposit in the first instance while others expect full payment; a contractor may be paid on salary, others are hourly [some may even submit invoices week to week while others may submit monthly]. However, I will endeavour to provide a detailed overview as follows:

  • Contingency Equipment Support that is Equipment to support plant breakdowns contingencies as well as project support contingencies. The approximate expenditure in 2021 was Seven Hundred Thousand dollars [BMD $700,000.00];
  • Emergency Repairs and Support which includes Economizer repairs, superheater repairs, waterwalls repairs, refractory repairs, third party inspection and refuse crane repairs. The approximate expenditure in 2021 was Three Million dollars [$3,000,000.00];
  • Upgrades to Equipment & Systems which includes the Clinker crane replacement, Bulky Waste shear overhaul, feedwater pumps replacement, boiler tubes replacement, Plant UPS replacement, third and party inspections. The approximate expenditure in 2021 was Eight Million dollars [$8,000,000.00]; and
  • Project Consultants whom provided Project Management support, operational support and emergency contractor support for various ongoing issues equates approximately to Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand dollars [$350,000.00].

Madam President, these two programmes are vital to ensure the waste that Bermuda produces is properly disposed. I am sure my Senate colleagues will recall the national disruption caused by the inoperability of the Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility and the unfortunate alternatives faced due to the circumstances in November 2021 such as landfilling at the Marsh Folly facility.

This Government will continue to work diligently to support our previous commitment to avoid a repeat of this practice. As the Honourable Minister said in his previous statement, this work when completed will see the management of the country’s waste requirements for the next twenty-five [25] years.

Madam President as is customary, I shall keep Senate informed of the progress.

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  1. Micro says:

    But how is it, that this facility of supposed national importance was allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair?