A homegrown clean-energy project in the Caribbean could demonstrate the viability of biogas as a sustainable energy solution on a global scale.
On November 23, the Barbados National Oil Company (BNOCL) hosted an operational update meeting at the pilot project location for the country’s first ever biogas service station, in Woodbourne.
The activity was conducted jointly with a team from Rum and Sargassum Inc., the driving force behind the clean-energy initiative. The Barbados-based start-up aims to provide inexpensive transportation fuel for sixty per cent of the country’s road traffic, with the ultimate goal of achieving a 100% fossil-fuel-free Barbados.
“This move represents a substantial step toward reducing dependence on fossil fuels and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with Barbados’ commitment to address the challenge of high prices for imported fossil fuels and achieve long-term energy security,” said Legena Henry, CEO and Founder of Rum and Sargassum Inc, who presented a technical overview of the biogas station’s operations.
Myriam Ferran, Deputy Director-General of International Partnerships at the European Commission, was also present at the update meeting. Ferran was presented with a token of appreciation, on behalf of Rum and Sargassum Inc., by Je-Meila Moseley of Future Barbados.
Moseley delivered introductory remarks at the event, on behalf of Jonathan Reid, Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Barbados and Chair of Future Barbados.
James Browne, CEO of BNOCL, also delivered remarks. Terrance Straughn, Operations Manager of BNOCL, and Richard Goddard, Renewable Energy Manager of BNOCL, were also present.
“From all reports, the investors are happy with the progress of the project and BNOCL is excited to be a part of this energy efficient initiative to assist in propelling Barbados closer to meeting global environmental targets,” a media release from BNOCL said.
Rum and Sargassum aims to produce affordable, fossil-fuel free, renewable compressed natural gas using low-cost, locally sourced organic inputs including Sargassum seaweed, Barbados Blackbelly sheep manure and rum industry wastewater.
Also in attendance were Richard Seale, CEO and Master Distiller, FourSquare Distillery, and Jacklyn Broomes, Sustainability Manager, Mount Gay Distilleries.
PHOTO CAPTION: From left, Donna Gittens, Programme Manager, Climate Change, Green Deal Partnership, EU Caribbean Delegation; Terrence Straughn, Operations Manager, BNOCL; Richard Goddard, Renewable Energy Manager, BNOCL; Olga Baus, Deputy Head of Unit B2, EU Caribbean Delegation; Myriam Ferran, Deputy Director General, Directorate-General for International Partnerships at the European Council; Malgorzata Wasilewska, Ambassador of the European Union to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM; Legena Henry, CEO and Founder of Rum and Sargassum; James Browne, CEO of BNOC; Luca Trinchieri, Team Leader, Green Deal Partnership, EU Caribbean Delegation; and Damian Catlyn, Group HSSE Manager, BNOCL, at the Barbados National Oil Company’s location for the country’s first biogas service station in Woodbourne, on November 23, 2023. Photo courtesy: Office of the Prime Minister, Barbados.