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Old 09-09-2009, 08:45   #1
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New Power Plant Threatens the Abacos

Just wanted to spread the word about this new power plant that's going to be stationed at Wilson City on the Eastcoast of Abaco. It's hard to believe that the Bahamian Govt has yet to pass any Clean Air laws. This plant will burn Bunker C type fuel (a very toxic and residual type fuel) and will be a major threat to the fragile environment of the Abacos including nearby Sandy Cay Reef. There will be a 300 ft industrial loading dock (for freighters) right next to the Pelican Cay Land and Sea Park which is the home to Sandy Cay Reef. This plant will certainly affect the fragile marine life that live in the mangrove wetlands.

Check out this video on YouTube. I think all us cruisers will find this threatening to our playground to the east. Your voice against this matter is helpful in fighting this project.

YouTube - CleanPowerAbaco's Channel
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:59   #2
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This is a very compelling video. What alternative proposals are on the table?
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:17   #3
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Most ships burn bunker-C. The newer ships have scrubbing systems which remove much of the bad stuff. The same technology is of course available for shore power plants. I'm not saying the power plant is safe by any means, just presenting some facts.
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:00   #4
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... What alternative proposals are on the table?
If the Abaconians want electrical power, they will have to burn something.

Here’s an excellent Bahamian commentary on “The Great Wilson City Power Plant Mystery”, by Larry Smith
Bahama Pundit: The Great Wilson City Power Plant Mystery
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:56   #5
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Compelling my ass, this video is so full of lies, half truths, photoshopped pictures of smoke from chimneys, alarmist soundtrack and just bull **** it's pathetic. I really liked the one about gloves to touch Bunker C. Yeah, if you want to keep your hands clean, you wear gloves. It's the same reason that I wear gloves to work on my engine. It's not because it's toxic to touch.

Lest you forget, oil is an organic compound made up of decayed plants. As long as it's handled properly, and billions of gallons are handled world wide every day, it works fine. Just as cow **** is a great fertilizer when handled properly but not something that I want on my dinner plate.

We have only one viable non carbon burning way to produce electricity and nuclear isn't feasible for such a small power plant in today's world. If the Island wants electricity, they will need to burn something. Whether it's coal or oil makes no difference, something has to go up in smoke. Without combustion, all those eco-tourists aren't going to get the airconditioning and organic greens that they demand and the locals won't be able to watch American Idol.

FWIW, most of the electricity in Hawaii is produced by petroleum products. We do have a pathetically small geo-thermal plant, a few windmills and a trash burning powerplant but the vast majority of electricity is produced by oil. We even use a refining residue that is so junk it has no other use, and the technology that allows it's use is an acclaimed green benefit.

So yes, burning fossil fuels has side effects. Reasonable precautions need to be taken to reduce them. The solution is not condemning bogie man 'bunker C', however.

Btw, our local friendly volcano puts so much sulphur in the air we have significant acid rain problems. We can still drink the water, however.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:06   #6
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It's at least worth listening to the Solar Alternatives that someone has mentioned in that article. What disturbs me and I'm sure many others is the part:

"The public has not been fully informed about the power plant and when officials were asked, the response was 'it's a done deal' or 'it is not up for discussion'."

Sounds really fishy to me. And the increasing price tag each time when estimates are released. There should be impact studies, etc, before this project should be allowed to go forward.

$90+ million could be more wisely spent. Tap into the Sun.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:45   #7
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Check out this video on YouTube. I think all us cruisers will find this threatening to our playground to the east. Your voice against this matter is helpful in fighting this project.

No offense SurfNRG, but what makes it "our" playground?
I think we've had enough of "our" interference in other countries.
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Old 09-09-2009, 13:16   #8
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Gee, unless they have changed engines at Marathon, Fl. A great stop off for many yachts in the Fl Keys ,the power plant and the ice plant there have been burning Bunker C for 50+ years and I don't see everybody dying off down there.
Moved out of there a few years back, but worked at both facilities when I was younger, used to help unload the barge that delivered the fuel. The main thing about B-C is that it is heated to about 175 degrees if I remember right , just to get it to flow, and it's very dirty to handle..
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Old 09-09-2009, 14:52   #9
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Out of Context

No offense taken but if I say the Miami Dolphins are OUR Team it doesn't mean we actually own them, does it? Maybe I should have better worded it as "an area that many of us cruisers enjoy or have enjoyed" instead of "our playground". The fact of the matter is, it's concerning news about a popular cruising area and I thought it'd be wise to pass this on to fellow sailors who also enjoy sailing, surfing, fishing, diving, kayaking, and the island lifestyle as much as I do along those pristine waters. It's a no-brainer to have an interest in preserving it. It's not like I OWN it. I just enjoy playing in it which attracts me there as well as thousands of others, which in turn puts a lot of money directly into the local economy. Sure, there's an issue about growth and the need for more energy but why not explore alternative solutions and not just go forward with one that the Govt doesn't want to talk about and maneuvers through so secretively? How 'bout taking a piece of that $90+ million and installing solar panels on all those vacation homes as one step toward cutting back on the energy demand from the grid? I'm sure even solar water heaters would save quite a bit on energy consumption. I thought we're all suppose to think GLOBALLY GREEN now-a-days? I find it strange to hear that the Bahamas don't have a Clean Air act? Why doesn't the Bahamas take the lead and be a great example for other island nations? Strange, especially since tourism is their #1 income. If I wanted to go on vacation and stare at a freakin smoke stack I'd go to some big industrial city. And how ironic it is to place the loading dock to this Wilson City Plant, where the freighter will come in and unload the so called "dirty fuel", near the Sandy Cay Marine Sanctuary? That's asking for trouble. I smell a rat (all so frequent when big $ are involved) and pretty soon we're gonna be smelling more than that if this plant goes thru.
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Old 09-09-2009, 15:37   #10
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Sure, there's an issue about growth and the need for more energy but why not explore alternative solutions and not just go forward with one that the Govt doesn't want to talk about and maneuvers through so secretively? How 'bout taking a piece of that $90+ million and installing solar panels on all those vacation homes as one step toward cutting back on the energy demand from the grid? I'm sure even solar water heaters would save quite a bit on energy consumption. I thought we're all suppose to think GLOBALLY GREEN now-a-days? I find it strange to hear that the Bahamas don't have a Clean Air act?
It is easy to parrot the green party line and carry on..blah blah blah. Reality is the cost and scale of providing power on demand is immense. Try running AC day and night on a poorly insulated tropical home using the output of solar panels on the roof.

One might just do a quick back of the envelope calculation to gain insight into real engineering/cost challenges of providing power with green technologies. You may temper your words in the future.

I would focus my energy on trying to improve the stack emissions. I think there is a higher payoff there.

Cheers!
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Old 09-09-2009, 16:54   #11
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Who said ANYTHING about powering AC units day and night off solar panels??? Anyone with a remote knowledge of electricity realizes that it's not practical - at least not today. Electric Hot Water Heaters eat up ALOT of Kilowatts especially with a house full of drunken tourists showering up for long night of partying. What I'm saying is use solar in practical applications; CF lighting, Energy Star appliances (refrigeration, tv), etc. and utilize solar water heaters. Use some of that $90 mil toward a Govt incentive to encourage property owners to properly insulate those inefficient homes. Not sure how it is up your way Lake Superior but I have a feeling it's nowhere near like down here in Florida where the SUN is plentiful and free - just like the neighboring Bahamas. I agree, study reducing stack emissions but go forward with CLEAN ENERGY research and apply that knowledge. It's the future and you'll be tempering your words. Do you really think it sounds like the Bahamian Govt is moving forward with a logical solution? Where's the impact studies, options, etc? Why the escalating estimates of costs? Like I say, I smell a rat and he's not only in the kitchen.
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Old 09-09-2009, 22:01   #12
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Sounds again like everybody is right - there are "green" ways of getting electric power from wind and sun and even using some of the water current flow in the Andros blue holes. But we are not dealing with the USA here, we are dealing with a 3rd world little country - the Bahamas - where technology and environmental issues are way down the priority list. To the locals it is food and family (includes jobs and services) first and everything else last. The locals clean out all the fish by whatever means is most efficient and dump trash, oil, gasoline, sewerage, etc. directly into the waters everyday. There is no money or interest in "green" ecology things.
- - In Great Exuma years ago, there was a referendum about allowing casinos on the island. The locals voted overwhelmingly to not allow casinos but the government in Nassau said "tough, they are going to be built anyway" and then they used Haitians to build them. It gets worse, 1. no jobs for locals and 2. Malaria outbreak brought in by the Haitians.
- - Crusading for the environment is a necessary and important process if for no other reason than to just slow down the raping of the planet. But realistically you are doing the Don Quixote thing.
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Old 09-09-2009, 22:07   #13
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I actually want one for the boat. 8kts for 25 years
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Old 09-09-2009, 22:25   #14
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Compelling my ass, this video is so full of lies... I really liked the one about gloves to touch Bunker C. Yeah, if you want to keep your hands clean, you wear gloves. It's the same reason that I wear gloves to work on my engine. It's not because it's toxic to touch.

Lest you forget, oil is an organic compound made up of decayed plants. As long as it's handled properly, and billions of gallons are handled world wide every day, it works fine. Just as cow **** is a great fertilizer when handled properly but not something that I want on my dinner plate......
Btw, our local friendly volcano puts so much sulphur in the air we have significant acid rain problems. We can still drink the water, however.
When you burn coal or oil the heavy metals contained in them get left behind for you to breath or drink. That can be measured for ten miles around power plants in Texas, for example, by counting the percentage of disabled kids and sampling the air or water.

If cow **** were to get as concentrated as crude oil, by laying in sedimented layers for millions of years: you'd find the same concentration of heavy metals in it.

While it is difficult to imagine it when we can't see it: science is supposed to shine light on all that.
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Old 10-09-2009, 01:05   #15
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... But we are not dealing with the USA here, we are dealing with a 3rd world little country - the Bahamas - where technology and environmental issues are way down the priority list ...
The population of the Bahamas is currently estimated at about 320,000, not including about 30,000 undocumented Haitians.
The population of Abaco is about 14,000(< 5% of total pop.).
This $90Million investment would represent about 1% of the country’s entire GDP (<$9Billion).

Realistically, their options may be somewhat limited by constrained resources. Notwithstanding, they'd be wise to eamine all available options.
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