Barbados Minister of Energy and Business Lisa Cummins will deliver the keynote at the launch of an innovative clean energy project by a local startup company, Rum & Sargassum Inc.
The startup produces affordable, fossil-fuel free, renewable compressed natural gas using low-cost, locally sourced organic inputs including rum industry wastewater, Sargassum seaweed and Barbados Blackbelly sheep manure. Its latest project involves setting up the country’s first biogas automobile refueling station, and the development of a mobile app to help predict Sargassum seaweed biomass influx patterns.
The project is funded in part by an initiative called the Harnessing Innovative Technologies to Support Resilient Settlements on the Coastal Zones of the Caribbean initiative, more commonly known as HIT RESET Caribbean. In 2023, Rum & Sargassum received a €300,000 grant from HIT RESET Caribbean, toward the two project goals.
“Car drivers can halve their fuel bill with Rum & Sargassum’s affordable renewable compressed natural gas. Rum & Sargassum Inc. proposes to provide inexpensive transportation fuel for 60 per cent of road traffic in Barbados, addressing the energy problem of paying high prices for imported fossil fuels, and guaranteeing energy security for a 100% fossil-fuel free Barbados,” said Dr. Legena Henry, the company’s CEO and Founder.
At the project launch, Henry will share more about how the company’s operations will support Barbados’ commitment to become fossil-fuel free by 2030.
Also expected to deliver remarks at the launch are James Browne, CEO, Barbados National Oil Company Ltd, Dr. Graham King, UWI HIT RESET Caribbean Team Lead, and Luca Trinchieri of the delegation of the European Union to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM.
HIT RESET Caribbean is funded by the ACP Innovation Fund and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States’ Research and Innovation Programme, with the financial contribution of the European Union.
The launch will take place on June 7. It is a private event, by invitation only.