Biodiesel plant revving up for production

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June 15, 2010

Bahamas Waste's $750,000 biodiesel plant will be in full swing by the end of summer, with its managing director confirming the first gallon is expected to be produced in July.

"I'm hoping that we will have our first gallon sometime by no later than the end of the summer," Francisco de Cardenas told Guardian Business. "The tank farm is almost finished [and] we should be pouring some floors over the next few days and I think the equipment is going to ship this week.

"As soon as the tanks are in, the guys are going to start putting them together, but we have some oil on hand so that's not going to hold us up."

When completed, the company's fleet of over 50 collection vehicles will switch from using fossil fuels and running on biodiesel, with the manufacturer's license and permits in order.

Bahamas Waste has exported 100 tons of recycled cardboard to China, with plans to ramp up production in that area.

"I think we need to export more than that, so we have hired a recycling coordinator and he's going out knocking on doors," said de Cardenas. "We're hoping he goes to people and say listen we'll try and take it off your hands, so you don't have to pay tipping fees on them.

"But it's going to be a joint-type thing, we can't afford to buy it from them because it's tough as it is, we're working with all of our customers to see how it can be a win-win for everybody."

Approximately 500,000 gallons a year of used cooking oil is set to be utilized for the production of biodiesel, with much of the supply coming from the industrial sector such as hotels and restaurants, but residential oil will also be used.

The biodiesel production facility will consist of a small generator to run the processing equipment, a raw material tank, a methanol tank, a diesel tank and a tank blending the finished product with regular diesel.

Bahamas Waste also recently indicated strong interest in bidding for the government's proposed garbage collection contract. The company is taking a two-pronged privatization approach - firstly proposing to bring in Miami-based Cambridge Development Company to run the Tonique Williams-Darling Highway landfill site, and handing domestic waste collection over to private Bahamian companies.

Click here to read more in The Nassau Guardian

News date : 06/15/2010    Category : Nassau Guardian Stories

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