BVI News

Gov’t seeking new incinerator

The incinerator/waste facility at Pockwood Pond on Tortola.

Health Minister Vincent Wheatley has disclosed that the government is seeking a new incinerator to help meet the increasing demands of waste management in the territory.

Wheatley, while speaking in the House of Assembly recently, said parts have arrived on the island to effect repairs to the current incinerator at Pockwood Pond, which has been non-operational for some time.

“We are also having an EOI [expression of interest] put out for a new incinerator because, currently, that incinerator, even when it’s fixed, can do a maximum of 100 tonnes a day. The BVI right now is at 160 tonnes a day,” Wheatley explained.

Wheatley said the expression of interest should be coming out sometime in January and noted that funding has already been placed in the budget for landfill sites at Pockwood Pond, Anegada and Virgin Gorda.

The Pockwood Pond incinerator suffered a catastrophic fire in February 2021 that significantly damaged the structure, however, it had been malfunctioning for years before that. Some of the damage occurred after another fire that happened in November of 2018. 

The inoperable structure has meant that residents of the West End area of Tortola have been forced to endure the open and indiscriminate dumping of refuse at the nearby landfill for years.

This has led to repeated occurrences of spontaneous combustion, which often means huge fires and plumes of toxic smoke coming from the site. 

Earlier this month, Director of the Department of Waste Management, Marcus Solomon disclosed that incinerator parts have arrived on the island and suggested that they would be installed sometime during the first quarter of next year.

Wheatley also disclosed back then that the government had been looking at fail-safe measures that could be implemented at the Pockwood Pond site.

“The ministry is currently working on a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a brand new plant and waste strategy. So irrespective of if this works or not, we are moving forward with a brand new strategy for waste in the Virgin Islands,” the minister said.

Wheatley added, “What is currently happening here is not sustainable and we have to move away from this as quickly as possible. That proposal should be out to the public before the end of the month.”


Copyright 2024 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Resident says:

    It’s amazing we are still doing open burning with a series of expensive, non-operational incinerators, when the government has had billions of dollars of revenue since the 1980s.

    Look at the most recent budget, even now! Where does the money go?

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  2. Popeye says:

    It tool them 10 years after the existing one broke to just realize this?

    We deserve better.

    Like 16
  3. UK Own says:

    Please look about a Waste to Energy Incinerator it will save taxpayers plenty money . The unique thing is the Power Plant is Right there.People of the Bvi Please Speak out for This..

    • lol says:

      the analysis was already done..the economics does not work out at our scale

    • @ UK Own says:

      WTE (waste to energy) plants are great ideas but have unique problems. One is that you can’t just burn everything that gos into the dumpster, so some form of waste segregation would be required. Secondly, they need a specified quantity of waste material per day to generate energy. A small WTE plant might generate 10 megawatts of electriity, which is more than BVIEC’s present generating capacity. We don’t reliably generate enough suitable waste material to operate a 10 MW WTE plant. There is also the issue of what to do with excess electricity generated. You can’t just put it into the grid without adverse consequence. Lastly, WTE plants tend to be expensive to build and operate, especially to control emissions, which is important since WTE plants without effective emission controls put out a variety of quite toxic materials such as dioxins.

  4. Anonymous says:


    Though you may sometimes express certain truths, why are you every day of the year up in our business?

    And why is it thatyou haver postulated a remedy,or postulate specific answers to our problems?

    • Resident says:

      Despite living here for years and paying my taxes, I can’t vote. No one wants my suggestions.

      The points I make are intended to remind the electorate that they have been abused for 40 years and to encourage them to demand competent and honest government.

  5. WEW says:

    A new incinerator won’t mean a thing without a scrubber to remove pollutants. Just smoke from a stack rather the hillside. like now !

  6. BuzzBvi says:

    So the efforts have been plqced all this time fixing sonething that is not uo to thebjob. And only now ask for expreasions of intereat for a proper one. What is wrong with these fools we have as leaders. It like Chriatmas is a aurprisw to them every year along with hurricane season. They will be gettingna plan to fix the roads together in about 3 more years. Just a plan mind.

  7. Advice says:

    Buying a 100 ton per day incinerator is not like buying a car. No one builds them and keeps then in stock. Who is writing the specification for it? There are a myriad of details that need to be attended such as waste characerization, siting details, power suuply, etc. The deal to buy the incinerator should include delivery, installation and commissioning, including test runs, verification that emissions controls are effective, employee training on proper operations & maintenance. The last time the govt bought a garbage incinerator, it sat in pieces for years in the 90s, until an electrician was paid $ 1 million to assemble and wire it up. Maybe that has something to do with its poor track record. Assuming the govt is able to retain a qualified firm to deliver, install and commision an incinerator, they should also seriously consider having them evaluate the existing one to develop a plan of action to improve its performance.

  8. Waste to Energy says:

    Certain people make more money than they or their children will ever need in a lifetime selling us fuel for the generators. They are locked in. And hold us all in an unsustainable headlock.

    Maybe the Premier could have explored waste to fuel in Dubai. There is likely funding for places willing to explore avenues and help better the way the world deals with trash and energy.
    We have to sort trash? Poor us- maybe the many millions our government spends on subsidizing the high cost of fuel each year could be spent on JOBS.

  9. Noooo says:

    Noooo, we rather pay for Free concerts where we can get back something under the table.. we not benefitting Finacial from a new in incinerator.. we just like singing that same old song every couple years

Leave a Comment