Next year Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) will begin extracting oil that seeped into the ground over a number of decades at its Clifton Pier power plant, the company’s board Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey told reporters on Friday. He added that Shell North America will also be involved in the clean-up effort.
Moxey explained that BPL’s board of directors has already approved $5 million for the environmental remediation of the brownfield site at Clifton Pier, where the company’s efforts to contain oil seeping out into the ocean through the installation of a containment wall has been working.
However, Moxey explained that there is also a freshwater lens in the area that could be affected.
“There is groundwater there as well,” he said.
He added that the contamination has largely been contained and that environmental studies have indicated where wells need to be sunk in order to extract the old oil from the ground.
“The last report that we got from our environmental team has indicated to us that the wall that was put [in place] some years ago to stop the oil flow works,” said Moxey.
“We recognize that a full environmental clean-up is required, and so environmental studies have already been done, the plans have already been put in place, the board has already approved I believe $5 million-plus and Shell has already committed to working with us on clean-up at the brownfield site at Clifton Pier, and so all those particular activities are ongoing.”
BPL tests the water at Clifton Pier regularly to ensure there are no oil slicks or oil plumes leaking out into the water, according to Moxey.
He said BPL’s remediation plan will begin in earnest in 2020 even as the company and Shell begin their strategic partnership to build a gas-to-power plant and liquefied natural gas facility at Clifton Pier.
“We structuring the remediation in a way where we’re able to do multiple things simultaneously and that’s where we are,” Moxey said.
“Our remediation plan is probably [going to] kick into gear sometime early next year when we start pulling that oil out of there.