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Savings as T&T businesses go green

Published: 
Monday, July 7, 2014
Trade Minister Vasant Bharath speaks with Karin Simmons, retail sales manager, Abel Building Solutions, at the Trade and Investment Convention 2014 at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ

The long anticipated Beverage Container Bill will be laid in parliament before the end of this year, Ramona Ramdial, Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources said during her feature address at the T&T Green Building Council (TTGBC) and T&T Coalition of Services Industries’ (TTCSI) breakfast seminar, Green Building: Making Profits Sustainable.

 

“The Beverage Container Bill has been in existence for over 15 years, and seeing this enacted will be long overdue, but will have a tremendously positive impact on beverage container disposal and waste management in this country,” Ramdial said.
She said the Government is in discussions with a company to establish a recycling facility at a cost of $400 million.

 

Ramdial said the Ministry is also seeking expertise from countries like India to implement benchmark standards. The breakfast seminar at the Hilton Trinidad was aimed an increasing awareness on the need for a more sustainable approach to business in T&T regarding green building. TTGDC president Roger Salloum, who commended the minister for the work being done, said: “What we need to see are more living examples of corporate sustainability right here in T&T.”

 

Case studies presented by Alternative Concept Engineering Solutions, TYE Manufacturing Company Ltd and Trinidad Cement Ltd cdid just that. Varsha Sieurajsingh of Alternative Concept Engineering Solutions, identified cases where energy auditing and analysis saved big businesses in T&T like Coca-Cola approximately 14-27 per cent on energy costs in just one year.

 

Managing director of TYE Manufacturing Limited, Robert Tang Yuk, said the company had optimised its production efficiency through the use of technology, while achieving the benefit of employee satisfaction and significantly reducing waste and resource consumption, while improving TYE’s bottom line. Tang Yuk also spoke about the work of Sitek and the feasibility of a solar industrial cluster producing the entire value chain from silicon to PV panels and glass in T&T.

 

He said the feasibility for solar energy production is being explored and they are using global benchmarking standards which will directly employ 2,800 and indirectly employ 5,000 workers—half of the workforce of the Point Lisas Estate. In addition, data indicates that all the energy used to produce a solar panel will be recuperated in just two-and-a-half years. 

 

 

On the point of a solar plant demanding too much of the country’s energy resources, Tang Yuk explained that the entire cluster will only require 1.5 per cent of current gas usage in the country. He said T&T must find a sustainable way of achieving energy stability.

 

“With ten per cent of GDP going towards energy purchase in some of our Caricom neighbours, we must consider the risks that this market may soon be unable to afford energy over US$0.30c per kWh when solar energy can be supplied more economically,” Tank Yuk said.