J Wray & Nephew in­vests in waste wa­ter sys­tem

Wait goes on for Cock­pit Coun­try bound­ary de­ci­sion

Jamaica Gleaner - - EARTH DAY - Pwr.gleaner@gmail.com pwr.gleaner@gmail.com – P. W. R.

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.




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