Financial close for the project now expected in early 2023
Grand Cayman – Significant progress continues to be made as efforts between the Cayman Islands Government and Dart to complete project negotiations for the development of ReGen, Cayman’s Energy and Recycling Centre are continuing in earnest, with financial close for the project now expected early in 2023.
Premier and Minister of Sustainability & Climate Resiliency, Hon. G. Wayne Panton assures the public that, while the project negotiations are lengthy and complex, discussions are proceeding at pace.
“Given the scale of this project, its national significance, the level of capital investment required, and the proposed lifespan of the new system, both parties are committed to ensuring all details of the negotiations are considered as thoroughly as possible. While this increases the length of discussions, I believe it is for the ultimate benefit of the country. Please know that my administration is working wherever possible to keep costs down in spite of global supply chain issues and procurement challenges. Our goal is to ensure ReGen represents a financially viable, long-term solution for sustainable solid waste management for all three of our wonderful islands. I am confident in the long-term success of this project and my administration is committed to seeing these negotiations through to their timely conclusion,” he said.
Mr. Panton also acknowledged community concern about Dart’s recent decision to end its glass recycling programme as its crusher is at the end of its useful life cycle.
“Over the more than 10 years since Dart procured its glass crushing machine, the rate of recycling in the Cayman Islands and the level of recycling infrastructure available to the public has increased. We are grateful to Dart for providing this important service for more than a decade but we understand the public is disappointed in what they perceive to be a step backwards on the pathway to sustainable solid waste management. While we investigate potential interim solutions, we know ReGen represents the ultimate long-term plan for expanded and improved recycling infrastructure in the Cayman Islands,” Mr. Panton said.
While negotiations for ReGen are ongoing, work on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project recommenced in earnest in September 2022 and is progressing. The EIA helps to gain a holistic understanding of how the ReGen facilities might affect the local environment and informs the final design and operational details. The Terms of Reference for the EIA were agreed in 2021, enabling baseline environmental assessment studies to commence on air quality, emissions, hydrology, noise and vibration, marine ecology and terrestrial ecology. Once complete, the environmental studies conducted as part of the EIA will form the basis of an Environmental Statement. The Environmental Statement is the final outcome of the EIA and sets the parameters for the project’s environmental performance and mitigation of impacts through informing final design and construction, along with permitting and operational requirements of the facilities once commissioned. The environmental statement will also be subject to a public consultation period before it is finalised.
Dart President of Infrastructure Cameron Graham said: “As partners in ReGen, the Dart Consortium and Government share the commitment to complete negotiations and deliver the new solid waste management facilities in a timely and responsible manner, as there is limited capacity on the current site for landfilling operations. We await the completion of the EIA process that is expected by this time next year before we begin the three-year construction of the new waste-to-energy facility. ReGen facilities will divert up to 95% waste from the landfill.”
In addition to diverting the majority of solid waste from the landfill, when complete, the ReGen waste-to-energy facility has the capacity to produce 8MW of renewable energy, supporting the National Energy Policy target of 70% renewables by 2037.