Export Barbados signs a memorandum of understanding to explore the marine space
Export Barbados (BIDC) and Wello Oy, a Finnish wave energy technology company, announced a new cooperation agreement to explore the opportunities that lie in the Barbados marine space for power generation .
The agreement, in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding, establishes a framework for the exploration, manufacture and deployment of a commercial wave energy fleet off the coast of Barbados, using proprietary technology Wello Penguin Wave Energy Conversion.
The project has three phases: a feasibility study; the development of a prototype device; and the establishment of a commercial project.
The initial step will determine the key characteristics required to create a successful project. With all the necessary regulatory compliances in place, Phase 2 will see the construction, deployment and full testing of the wave energy converter prototype implemented under a contract negotiated between Wello and Export Barbados (BIDC).
This contract will define, among other things, the key performance indicators (KPIs) required to move the prototype towards large-scale commercial development, and the funding of the grant to be committed by Wello. Once the KPIs are reached, the implementation of the final phase will see the establishment of a commercial 5 megawatt wave energy project.
All of this is in line with Export Barbados ‘(BIDC) commitment to contribute to the diversification and growth of Barbados’ economy through new investments, increased exports and job creation; and Barbados’ goal of fully embracing renewable energy.
During the Safari Oceans Barbados-Kenya Business Alliance Forum held in early October, Minister of International Trade and Industry Ronald Toppin highlighted the important role the ocean economy can play in Barbados.
“We are also seeking to develop new sources of economic growth with a greater focus on our ocean economy and our investments in life sciences. We believe that a number of solutions to the challenges we face lie in our waters.
“In addition to the enormous benefits of coastal solar power and wave power, blue technology opens up marine resources to obtain mariculture, cosmetics and health products, among others,” said Minister Toppin.
His sentiments echoed the thoughts of Kirk Humphrey, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Blue Economy, on unleashing the potential of the blue economy.
Humphrey said: “A sustainable ocean economy has the potential to transform the lives of communities through the development of non-extractive industries that provide higher value-added opportunities. He added: “Economies of scale dictate that we (Barbados) will not be competitive en masse, but that we can compete on innovation, flexibility and efficiency. “
Export Barbados CEO Mark Hill, speaking on the signing of the MoU, explained that the ocean economy is one of the three strategic pillars established within the company, aimed at optimizing efforts to increase exports exponentially.
Hill said, “We have made it a priority to build an export sector that can deliver $ 1 billion in exports by 2030. We see the blue economy as an under-exploited but vast resource that can contribute. significantly to the country’s developing economy, especially now in a climate that requires innovation and economic diversification to survive.
The company therefore seeks to advance several capacity building projects and programs that will help lay the groundwork for the emergence of new lucrative industries in the short to medium term.
“I am therefore excited about our partnership with Wello Oy to give birth to this new industry which will allow Barbados to be a leader in the region in harnessing wave energy as a clean alternative energy source. , durable and reliable. In doing so, we will contribute significantly to the national goal of reducing our carbon footprint by 2030 ”.
Adding to these comments, Heikki Paakkinen, Founder and CEO of Wello Oy, said “Diversifying the energy mix and creating a more sustainable world for the future is what we are looking for with our energy conversion technology. wave power. In this partnership with BIDC, Wello aims not only to provide a means to harness this huge form of untapped energy, but also to provide a new economic engine for Barbados.
“Our goal is to deploy wave energy not only in Barbados, but also to help build a new industry in the country, allowing the island to export Penguin wave energy converters. to the Caribbean islands, South America and the rest of the world. . We are extremely excited to partner with BIDC on this project and look forward to Barbados becoming a leader in wave energy conversion exports with Wello technology.
Work on the MOU is already underway, and Export Barbados and Wello Oy look forward to fruitful results in the not too distant future. (RP)