Barbados Ethanol Plan Picking Up Pace
BGIS, August 12, 2006...Government is forging ahead with its plans to restructure the sugar industry with emphasis on the use of ethanol for fuel.
to Chief Agricultural Officer, Barton Clarke, an Implementation
Committee comprising industry stakeholders is expected to sit down over
the next two weeks to draft a plan of action for the industry.
Mr. Clarke, who was part of a recent fact-finding mission to Brazil, explained: “We are in the process of preparing the (Brazil) report – we are also working towards preparing the implementation plan for the
local sugar cane industry … during the week of August 21 – that is when
we the stakeholders will actually be sitting down and work on the plan.”
that it was hoped that the plan would be completed by month-end, the
agricultural official pointed out that the next step would be the
then have to identify the site where the new factory is going to go; we
have to do the environmental impact assessments; go through the
development process which includes Town and Country Planning; continue
the research on fuel cane and we have to continue to engage the farmers
in discussions about our developments,” he further explained.
With the restructuring project for the industry not expected to come on stream until early 2009, Mr. Clarke said they were currently “examining the potential for initiating production of ethanol from the existing factories or examining the importation of it from other sources “.
To this end discussions have been ongoing with sources from Trinidad and Brazil. However, Mr. Clarke underlined: “All of these discussions are ongoing and have not yet reached conclusion.”
Giving further details of the Brazil
mission by the BADMC-established committee, Mr. Clarke said they had
enriching discussions with ethanol distributors as well as with
representatives of manufacturers and factories.
“We attended a symposium on the sugar cane industry where a lot of attention was paid to ethanol. We also visited a sugar cane factory which was producing sugar, syrup, ethanol and electricity – an integrated factory – so wewere able to gain valuable insight.”
He cited the reduction of methyl tert-butyl (MTBE) - an octane-enhancing additive which is harmful to the environment - in gasoline , as one advantage of ethanol usage. This,
he stressed, is particularly important given the shallow Barbadian
soils. “So, you can have the same effect by using ethanol, but you will
not have a corresponding damage to the environment.”
out that initial discussions were founded on the basis that the
restructuring of the sugar cane industry include the production of
ethanol from cane juice, Mr. Clarke said it was their intention to
replace 10% of the gasoline used with ethanol.