The newly created Ministry of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency now has responsibility for the ReGen Cayman’s Energy and Recycling Centre.
“Given the national importance of the ReGen project and its intended benefits of creating a more sustainable waste management system for the Cayman Islands, I believe the Ministry of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency is well-positioned to take the project forward and ensure the intended sustainability benefits. Additionally, Ministry Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn has considerable experience with the project,” Mr. Panton said. “This transition also allows Hon. Minister Sabrina Turner and her team at the Ministry of Health and Wellness to continue prioritizing the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
At the time of the agreement, the 30 September date gave the parties six months to continue their negotiations around the various conditions precedent and reach financial close.
“Having recently received a more detailed briefing regarding the project, I am of the view that the six month timeline that was agreed previously was, at best, an ambitious target,” Mr. Panton said. “The details of the outstanding conditions precedent are obviously not something that can be shared, as the negotiations have not been concluded; however I believe it is sufficient to note that there are a number of conditions precedent that were outstanding at the time of the project agreement signing, several of which remain outstanding currently and their complexity reflects the complexity of the project.”
The Cayman Islands Government, under the previous administration, and Dart became contractually committed to implementing the project after signing the project contract in March 2021.
Mr. Panton assures the people of the Cayman Islands that the project will continue as the project team continues to progress strategic elements of the project, including the Environmental Impact Assessment and capping the main mound at the George Town Landfill.
The crossing of the 30 September without satisfying the conditions precedent does not mean that the project is dead, but it does mean that Government has not rushed blindly to sign off on the project.
“This project is simply far too important in addition to being very complex, to make any hasty or half-informed decisions,” Mr. Panton said.
Since taking office, in addition to the usual time required for familiarisation by a new administration, the Government has had to deal with many urgent and complex issues.
“This has necessitated that we adopt a triage type of approach, where we have had to place greater focus on those issues that were both critically urgent and important. In addition the intention of the Government is to bring a greater focus on sustainability, which requires ensuring that assessments and conclusions are reviewed to ensure they remain consistent with these objectives,” Mr. Panton said.
“I want to assure the public that this Government recognizes the need to have an integrated solid waste management system that delivers a long-term, sustainable solution for all three of our beloved Cayman Islands,” he said. “I also want to assure everyone that we will be striving to deliver an integrated solid waste management system that achieves the appropriate balance across the sustainable development triple bottom lines of people, planet, and profits – balancing social, environmental, and economic benefits.”
Dart President Development Delivery and Infrastructure Cameron Graham said, “Dart understands responsibility for the continued progress of the ReGen project is being transferred to the Ministry of Sustainability & Climate Resiliency. ReGen will deliver a number of sustainability benefits for the country, from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to improving recycling performance and diverting up to 95% of our waste from being landfilled. We look forward to working with Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn once again to move the project forward and achieve the environmental, social and economic benefits of ReGen.”
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