On November 23, the Barbados National Oil Company will host an operational visit and guided tour of the construction site for the country’s first-ever biogas service station.
The activity will be conducted jointly with Rum and Sargassum Inc., the Barbados-based start-up behind the pioneering clean-energy initiative. The start-up 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.
“By leveraging the potential of Sargassum-based biogas, a clean and renewable energy source, we are taking a significant step towards reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and curbing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Legena Henry, CEO and Founder of Rum and Sargassum Inc.
The company proposes to provide inexpensive transportation fuel for 60 per cent of the country’s road traffic, addressing the energy problem of paying high prices for imported fossil fuels, and guaranteeing energy security for a 100% fossil-fuel free Barbados
“This pilot service station will demonstrate the viability and scalability of biogas as a sustainable energy solution while fostering a circular economy by utilizing organic waste materials,” Henry added.
Jonathan Reid, Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Barbados, will delivery introductory remarks at the operational tour.
Henry will present a technical overview and simulated demonstration of the pilot biogas station’s operations.
James Browne, CEO of BNOC, will formally commence the project at the BNOC biogas station construction site.
Myriam Ferran, Deputy Director-General of International Partnerships at the European Commission, will be present and will take part in the proceedings.
In March 2023, Rum & Sargassum Inc.’s SarGASsum project was competitively selected to receive a €300,000 research grant from the Harnessing Innovative Technologies to Support Resilient Settlements on the Coastal Zones of the Caribbean (HIT RESET) project, for fostering climate resilient coastal communities. The grant goes toward two project deliverables: the implementation of a mobile app to help predict Sargassum seaweed biomass influx patterns, and the establishment of the pilot biogas service station.
The SarGASsum project was formally launched in Bridgetown on June 7 in a ceremony that included remarks from: Lisa Cummins, Barbados Minister of Energy and Business; Dr. Graham King, UWI HIT RESET Caribbean Team Lead and Director of the UWI St Augustine Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship; and Luca Trinchieri, Team Lead of the Green Deal Partnership in the delegation of the European Union to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and CARICOM/CARIFORUM.
The HIT RESET Caribbean initiative includes concurrent projects in Dominica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago. It is being executed by UWI St Augustine, the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency and Anton de Kom University of Suriname.
HIT RESET Caribbean is one of the 12 initiatives funded by the African, Caribbean and Pacific Innovation Fund and supported by the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States’ Research and Innovation Programme, with the financial contribution of the European Union.