What Will The Current Barbados Government Do With The Cane-Ethanol Project?
First, a reminder that finding new and better energy sources is one of the most critical worldwide problems that we face in this generation. But as scientists and business are discovering, not every alternative fuel makes technological, economic or environmental sense.
This truth that not every alternative fuel source is viable is illustrated by an experiment being conducted by Richard Branson, Boeing and General Electric Aviation…
Virgin Atlantic said Monday that it would conduct a demonstration flight next month of one of its Boeing 747 jets using biofuel – the first airborne test of a renewable fuel by a commercial jet.
The airline, founded by the British billionaire Richard Branson, said a 747-400 plane would make the journey lasting one hour and 20 minutes from London Heathrow Airport to Amsterdam in late February using 20 percent biofuel and 80 percent conventional jet fuel. The test, without passengers, is part of a joint research project announced by Virgin, Boeing and the aircraft engine maker, GE Aviation.
The airline declined to identify the source of the biofuel, though Paul Charles, a Virgin spokesman, said the carrier had rejected fuels derived from crops like palm oil because of the huge land area that would need to be devoted to cultivation for fuel production.
“It will be a very sustainable fuel source,” Charles said, adding that its production would not compete with food or fresh water resources.
Engineers at Boeing and its European rival, Airbus, estimate that supplying all the airliners in the world with pure soybean-based biofuel would require planting an area the size of Europe. Biofuel researchers have also identified certain varieties of algae as a possible feedstock, noting that they have a much higher energy content than oilseeds and would therefore be far less demanding on the environment.
Boeing estimates that supplying the aviation industry with algae-based fuel would require just 35 square kilometers of ponds and that the algae could even be cultivated in salt water.
Read the entire article at the Herald Tribune link here.
Is Cane Ethanol A Viable Project For Barbados?
Prime Minister Thompson Should Re-evaluate Everything Started By The Corrupt & Incompetent BLP Government!
Proponents of a Barbados cane-ethanol project point to Brazil as proof that fuel from sugar cane is an economically viable proposition. They don’t like to talk about the huge economies of scale enjoyed by Brazil, or that Barbados might be better off economically to forget about ethanol from cane and instead grow corn for domestic food use.
The rationale for Barbados replacing cane with corn is that as ethanol from corn takes off in the North American market, it will cause a significant increase in the price of food and feed corn. In short, if making ethanol from cane on Barbados is as inefficient and expensive as is becoming apparent, we might be way better off to grow food instead of cane and find other solutions to powering cars and generating electricity.
What we don’t need is another dubious project that requires hundreds of millions of tax dollars for no guaranteed results or return… and we sure don’t need to favour a cane-ethanol project on the basis of an emotional and historical attachment to growing sugarcane.
The people of Barbados may never know the truth about the hundreds of millions of dollars squandered and stolen by the previous BLP government in dozens of half-baked schemes that were foisted on our nation. Whether it was GEMS hotels frauds, the Cricket World Cup disaster, or the ongoing subsidization of the “Best of Barbados” that directs unsuspecting tourists to sub-standard government-run hotels – the BLP government proved that it was a master at incompetence and thievery.
The Barbados ethanol-from-cane project was created by the previous government, and for this reason alone it should be viewed as highly suspect! The BLP government often appeared to favour mega-projects because they provided the best opportunity to siphon off funds into government officials’ offshore bank accounts.
As we reported in our article Barbados New Sugar Factory – $140 Million Contract To Government Friends, No Tender?, there was no doubt that the sugar-ethanol project was headed down that corrupt road under the BLP.
So will the new government put a “hold” on everything are take a hard look at cane-ethanol right from the ground up? They had better, because everything we’ve seen says that cane-ethanol in Barbados might be a disaster in the making.
Most Experts Say Ethanol Is Not Viable In Barbados
“Three independent experts hired by the European Union and the Government of Barbados to assist Barbados with the restructuring of the sugar industry were fired when they each produced reports showing that Barbados government ethanol plans are technically and economically not viable…”
We reported the above in our article Secret European Union Reports Slam Barbados Ethanol Plan.
Our current government should know that the technical reports relied upon by the BLP to justify cane-ethanol in Barbados – were faked.
Our source states that the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister’s staff still have different versions of the various reports in their records, and that an examination would show that the reports were changed to better support government ethanol policies.
Barbados Free Press was shown three different versions of one of the Ministry of Agriculture’s internal reports. The original version mentions that a fleet of tanker trucks would be required to transport toxic and corrosive liquid waste from the proposed ethanol plant to the coast – for disposal offshore through a pipe and pumping station. The original report talks of the inadequate road system to support the thousands of tanker truck trips per month that would be necessary, and the obvious dangers to public safety, the environment – as well as the fact that the original government ethanol plan did not factor in the costs and risks associated with the disposal of this toxic waste.
Those facts are in the original report, but are watered down in the second version.
“All mention of thousands of trips by tanker trucks is omitted from the final version of the report.”
The Barbados cane-ethanol project should serve as a warning to the new David Thompson government: believe very little that you are told or shown as to the activities of the previous government.
If the David Thompson government does not thoroughly re-examine all the projects started by the previous administration, the DLP government and Barbados will be sorry. Mr. Prime Minister – you have about 3 months to examine the major projects and make revelations and decisions.
After that… YOUR GOVERNMENT will own those projects.
Photo “Cane Blades” by Barbados In Focus (link here)