AlterNRG (T.NRG) up 5.5% on news of US$240 million Barbados clean energy deal

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Guernsey-based Cahill Energy said Monday it has signed an historic deal with the Government of Barbados to build and operate a leading edge clean energy plant on the Caribbean Island.

The plant is expected to utilize plasma gasification technology supplied by Westinghouse Plasma Corp., a unit of AlterNRG Corp. (TSX: T.NRG, Stock Forum).

AlterNRG shares rose 5.5% to $1.14 on Monday, leaving a market cap of $126.1 million, based on 112.6 million shares outstanding. The 52-week range is $1.24 and 32.5 cents.

Cahill Energy expects to invest up to US$240 million in the proposed plant, which is set to be built in Vaucluse, St. Thomas, creating 650 skilled labour jobs, and stimulating growth across the island.

The deal is also expected to provide the Government of Barbados with several hundred million dollars in estimated savings over the lifetime of the 30-year contract.

“This investment by Cahill Energy represents a “game changer” for Barbados and truly belies any doubt that Barbados is still a preferred destination for solid, and impactful foreign direct investment,’’ said Christopher P. Sinckler, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs for Barbados.

Cahill Energy Chief Executive Officer Clare Cowan said her company began exploring waste to energy in 2011 and Cahill’s attention was directed towards the Caribbean by 7th Heaven Properties.

“While we recognize the country faces some short term challenges due to the impact of the global economic downturn, we believe the fundamentals are strong,’’ Cowan said.

“We are therefore confident that this investment represents a phenomenal business opportunity for our investors and offers even greater benefits to the people of Barbados.’’

Cahill said the plant will provide a leading edge, environmentally sound solution to two of Barbados’s most pressing challenges: waste management and energy security.

Using plasma gasification technology, it will transform up to 650 tonnes of solid waste per day into clean, renewable energy. In doing so, it will eliminate environmental threats posed by the use of landfill. The plant is expected to provide up to 25% of Barbados’s total energy needs, Cahill said.

The use of Westinghouse Plasma’s proven, patented, waste to energy technology, (which is already in use in six commercial facilities worldwide) would significantly contribute to cutting Barbados’s dependence on landfills, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and transforming the island nation into one of the greenest economies in the entire region, Cahill added.