An update on the ReGen waste-to-energy project is expected by the end of the week, the Premier’s Office has said, as government responded to Opposition calls for transparency on plans for the George Town landfill.
Opposition Leader Roy McTaggart, in a Wednesday, 6 Oct. statement, questioned the status of the financing contract for the project, which was supposed to be closed by 30 Sept.
He said he wrote to Premier Wayne Panton on 29 Sept. to ask that he update Parliament and the jurisdiction on ReGen during the special meeting of the House called on 4 Oct.
“Unfortunately, the Government has missed a timely opportunity to update the country on this important project. The Opposition, therefore, is calling for full transparency from the Government with regards to the future of the ReGen project and the closure of the environmental hazard known as the George Town Landfill,” McTaggart said in his statement.
The Cayman Compass reached out to the Premier’s Office for comment and was told, via email, “you should have an update by week’s end”.
The project, a public-private partnership, was formalised in March by the Alden McLaughlin-led National Unity government and Dart, with construction costs pegged at $205 million. Those costs were to be met by Dart.
The McLaughlin administration signed the commercial contract for the project, which meant both parties became legally committed to implementing it.
After a public-private partnership contract is signed, additional steps are required before project implementation can begin, including reaching a ‘financial close’.
McTaggart, in his letter to Panton, wrote that “there are potentially dire consequences if the financial close is not achieved. Most obviously, unless an extension is put in place, the project fails. The immediate consequence of that would be that the Government would become liable for millions of dollars of abortive costs but, more significantly, it would leave Cayman with no solution for its waste problem with the available space at George Town landfill fast running out.”
McTaggart contended that not extending the process would be “an untenable position”.
While the Opposition leader said receipt of his letter was acknowledged by the Premier’s Office, no update on the project was forthcoming in Parliament.
“Indeed, since coming to office, the government has made no meaningful reference to the ReGen project that I can find. The Government’s Strategic Policy Statement also does not refer to it. This causes the Opposition much concern given the importance of the ReGen project to our Islands,” he said.
McTaggart said he hoped that if the 30 Sept. deadline had passed with no agreement in place that a suitable action plan would have been established to ensure that any new deadline can be met.