PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake said on Sunday that the Council of Ministers and the Legal Affairs & Legislation Department are currently reviewing the draft waste to energy plant concession agreement related to the Solid Waste Processing Plant for Sint Maarten.
Synergy, a U.S. company won the final bid.
Minister Lake said that he has been working diligently on concluding the Waste to Energy project during the past 12-months that he has been a minister.
"The landfill on Pond Island has to go. At the moment it is getting larger and higher and its capacity is getting smaller as each day goes by. From time to time you have fire breaking out on the landfill, and this is not good for the surrounding communities.
"When I became Minister in June 2013 I have worked diligently to get to the point where we are at now. We have a company that has been selected and the waste concession agreement is under discussion. There are a number of things taking place at the same time in order to have a successful conclusion. NV GEBE is in discussion with Synergy as well.
"This is a major milestone and I hope to sign off on the agreement prior to the end of my term as minister. I have to give a lot of credit to the Steering Committee, Kema as well as the legal team for bringing us to this point.
"The waste to energy facility for the country will bring forth positive developments that will improve the quality of life of the people of this country. The ever-growing landfill will be reduced over time and the waste produced will be turned into energy.
"Recycling will also be introduced as this is an integral part of the process," Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Sunday.
Minister Lake added that waste to energy is one key component of the country becoming less reliant on fossil fuels which are polluting the globe and leading to climate change.
"I have been working closely with NV GEBE with respect to studies in the area of renewable energies, such as the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
"The black smoke emanating from the smoke stack at the Cay Bay NV GEBE power plant is also being studied to see what technology has to be installed to do away with this. It's going to be a win win for all, and a win win for Sint Maarten," Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Sunday.