J Wray & Nephew invests in waste water system
Wait goes on for Cockpit Country boundary decision
THE CARIBBEAN Community (CARICOM) Secretariat is this month drawing public attention to the energy realities of the region while helping individuals to identify how to better conserve and cut costs.
They are doing it through a slew of activities, all of which are being celebrated as part of CARICOM Energy Month and under the theme ‘Sustainable Energy for Sustainable Development’.
“There are really two main things we are trying to do. One is to really build awareness among the general citizenry around energy matters so people understand what energy conservation means and what are some of the things they can do to take better control of their energy system,” said Dr Devon Gardner, programme manager for energy at the CARICOM secretariat.
“The second thing is for them to really understand the energy situation in the region and what is being done on the macro scale to provide the right size solutions that can be used to support the sustainable development of the countries of CARICOM,” he added.
To make that happen, among other things, there are three knowledge webinars planned on the subject, all of which target the regional public and a number of key stakeholders.
There are, too, a number of competitions – one of them a photo and art competition and another a regional news-reporting competition – intended to get people thinking through energy issues as they affect them and the likely solutions.
According to Gardner, the observation of CARICOM Energy Month – which also takes account of nationallevel activities, including kilo walk events set for, for example, Guyana and St Lucia – is important. And this, at a time when CARICOM countries are collectively using some 13,000 Btu of energy to produce one US dollar of gross domestic product (GDP) compared to 4,000 Btu of energy used by Japan, for example, to produce the same one US dollar of GDP and the global average of 10,000 Btu.
“We live in an age where there is great participation in energy. Energy investments and energy solutions are no longer top down. Thirty years ago, the utility made the decisions about what kind of power plants to use, determined how to deliver the energy, and a person took what was provided. And if you did not have it, you simply waited for the utility to give it to SOME EIGHT years on and at least two changes in the political administration, the Jamaican public continues the wait for a decision on the island’s ecological gem, the Cockpit Country.
The latest promise of a decision came in June this year from Minister Daryl Vaz, who has responsibility for land, environment, and climate change in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
“We are aware that several attempts have been made by the previous administration to define the boundaries, but we are going to complete the process and lay the issue to rest once and for all,” Vaz said in his sectoral presentation to Parliament.
“In this regard, a joint Cabinet submission with the Ministry of Transport and Mining will be submitted to Cabinet shortly, and members will be kept abreast of the developments,” he added at the time.
Since then, there has been no news on the progress — until yesterday.
“The Cockpit Country matter is still very much alive and I know the Government is very much committed to resolving the matter,” Colonel Oral Khan, chief technical director in Vaz’ ministry, told The Gleaner. The painting by Candice Henry of Trinidad and Tobago that placed second in CARICOM Energy Week’s art and photo competition last year. Dr Devon Gardner
you, which is why you heard of rural electrification programmes, and so on,” Gardner said.
“We are in an age now where technology has changed. There are a lot of options available for small, individualised power-generation systems as well as energy services that can be provided directly and in a cost-effective way such as solar water heaters. There is also greater awareness of people around what is possible, though they might not know what those solutions are. It is incumbent on us to give them the options,” he added.
“It is a part of good governance. It is a part of what modern society requires,” Gardner said further.
Critically, he said information and exchanges this month would afford A section of the Cockpit Country Reserve in Trelawny.
“The principal ministries involved in these negotiations are the ministry with responsibility for the environment and the ministry with responsibility for transport and mining. The technocrats have updated the administration and provided their advice, and so we are awaiting their consideration,” he added.
Among the boundaries that have been proposed by various stakeholders for the Cockpit Country – which is rich in biological diversity and a
crucial source of freshwater for Jamaica – over the years are:
the Cockpit Country Stakeholders’ Group boundary that takes in St Ann, St Elizabeth, St James, and Trelawny and which would deny access to some 300 million tons of bauxite, or US$9 billion.
the Ring Road boundary that takes in Trelawny and St Elizabeth and which would deny access to 150 million tons or US$4.5 billion; and
IICaribbean stakeholders the chance to shape their climate future.
“Over the last 20 years or so, the whole issue of climate protection and of sustainable development practice has risen to the fore on the global agenda. There is recognition that the climate fight can be impacted by an aggregation of climate actions at the micro level,” he said.
“The role of each individual in being able to fight or mitigate various climate effects has driven a lot of what Energy Month wants to provide, which is that each individual, in their own space, can do something, which when aggregated with the global efforts, is part of a significant tool,” he added.
the Sweeting/University of the West Indies (UWI) boundary projected to incur losses of US$4.2 billion, or 140 million tons of bauxite. There are, too:
the Maroon boundary comprising Trelawny and St Elizabeth, and which would amount to US$3 billion, or 100 million tons of bauxite lost;
the Forestry Reserve boundary that cause a loss of US$450 million, or 15 million tons of bauxite; and
the Jamaica Bauxite Institute boundary, which would incur losses of US$300 million, or 10 million tons of the ore.
In addition to the time and money invested in developing those boundaries, the UWI Centre for Environmental Management in 2013 led a series of public consultations on the boundary issue with a report done and submitted to Government with a raft of recommendations on the way forward.
Among other things, the report – written by Dr Dale Webber and colleague Dr Claudel Noel – warned Government against authorising “any form of exploration of mineral deposits, mining, and quarrying activity” in the area.
IIIIJ. WRAY AND Nephew Limited (JWN) has spent in excess of $700 million to improve its waste water management system at its three Spanish Town Road complexes to better manage the industrial waste generated by its operations.
It has heralded what the company describes as an even “more environmentally friendly JWN” and with the added benefit of treated water that can be used for irrigation.
JWN’s Spanish Town Road home sits on three distinct complexes, each with their own independent system. All that has now changed, with the waste from all three complexes flowing to one new state-of-the-art central waste water management system.
“The capacity of the old plant at the 234 Spanish Town Road complex wasn’t sufficient to treat what we were generating at all the complexes. The infrastructure that was there before needed to be upgraded before all the waste could be treated by one plant,” said Public Supply Chain Director Jorge Gonzalez.
“(With the new design), we can treat 500 cubic metres of trade effluent per day,” he said.
The systems of all three locations have been funnelled into this newer, more efficient system, with the broader objective of upgrading the capacity and efficiency of this aspect of the company’s operations.
The project began in January 2014 with an 11-week waste characterisation study. Both flow and water quality were measured to determine which treatment processes would be necessary.
For the design and implementation, JWN contracted, Italian firms Setam and Ser.Eco and local entities CEAC Solutions and DT Brown Construction.
A series of pipelines were laid to feed into new lift stations on the east and north complexes. The effluent in these lift stations are then pumped underground to the south complex into two new large above-ground concrete tanks.
“The first of the tanks has a 546-cubicmetre capacity and is designed to hold one day’s flow from the treatment facility,” CEAC’s project engineer, Lenmour Bell, said of efficiencies gained.
A 766-cubic metre aeration tank has also been added.
“The effluent then goes over the clarifier on to the company’s repurposed old plant, which now serves as a disinfection tank,” noted Wayne Boothe, project at JWN.
Sodium hypochlorite is added to kill any remaining bacteria and makes the water usable for possible irrigation in the future.
The plant is somewhat typical of other traditional plants with the exception of tubular diffusers attached to blowers used to input air into the reactor and the centrifugal decanter to dewater the excess sludge for wasting. The centrifugal decanter was a necessity given the lack of space and the sterile atmosphere in which JWN operates.
Civil construction works began in November 2015 and were completed in May 2016.
Construction works and electro-mechanical installation were slated for six months and the team delivered on time.
“We are currently in the testing phase, where we are monitoring to make sure we yield the necessary results for NEPA,” Gonzalez said.
JWN hopes to eventually obtain a license for irrigation, which would allow the treated water to be reused.