Diplomat dismisses Bahrain's incinerator project claims
Manama, July 16, 2014
A diplomat has dismissed claims by Bahraini government officials that a French company failed to comply with environmental concerns during a project.
The Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication, reported last week that a tender for a new multi-million dinar incinerator was being offered after a contract with France-based CNIM Group was terminated.
Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi said the firm failed to address environmental concerns and that a study submitted did not fulfil all the requirements, said a GDN report.
"The full environmental impact assessment required for the project was realised by a very well-known environmental consulting company - Postford Haskoning Environment Gulf (now Environment Arabia Consultancy Services)," said French Ambassador Christian Testot.
"The study was undertaken as per World Bank Standards and the Equator Principles and submitted to the Supreme Council for Environment (SCE) in October 2011.
"A presentation to the council was made on January 9, 2012 and a response was received from the council on January 29, 2012, with comments and questions."
He said the questions were addressed and a response was sent in March 2012.
"Another set of questions, mostly repeated from the first set of questions were sent to CNIM and Environment Arabia to be addressed," he added.
"All comments and questions provided by the council were fully addressed and sent back.
"To this date there has been no response from the council whether the project was accepted, rejected on environmental grounds or accepted with conditions.
"If the project was rejected on environmental grounds, there would obviously need to be a justification from the SCE in response to this."
Under the terminated deal, the planned factory near the Askar landfill site, would have dealt with an estimated 150,000 tonnes of waste produced in Bahrain every year.
The firm had pledged to raise $450 million to build and operate a waste-to-energy plant for the first 25 years, employing hundreds of people from France and Bahrain.
In return, the ministry had agreed to pay the company BD45 ($118.6) per tonne of waste disposed. - TradeArabia News Service