Sunday, July 09, 2006

Cap de Ville Not cleared for Industry

By Curtis Williams
Sunday Guardian
July 08, 2006

Cap-De-Ville in Point Fortin has not been approved as an industrial site by Town and Country Planning, and the National Energy Corporation has no permission to use the land for industrial purposes.
This is the word from acting head of the Town and Country Planning Division, Sheryl-Anne Haynes, who said categorically that the division had given no approval for land in Chatham to be used for industrial purposes.
“For any piece of land to be used for anything, the Town and Country Planning Division must make a determination of the land use.
“I can say that at this stage the lands at Chatham have not been approved for industrial purposes,” she said in an interview.
Haynes said NEC had submitted an application for the land use to change, but that T&C Planning was unhappy with the application and had sent it back.
“We have seen an application from the NEC for the land to be used for industrial purposes, but we found there were certain questions, which remain outstanding, and in those circumstances we have sent the application back.”
She said it was important that Town and Country approved projects before they began, because the division must establish the necessary buffer zones.
Haynes’ comments come on the heels of news by Alcoa’s president Randal Overbey, on Friday, that the company would move full speed ahead with plans to build a US $1.5 billion aluminium smelter.
Overbey told members of the American Chamber of Industry and Commerce, during its monthly meeting, that Alcoa was proceeding with the smelter project, despite objections by various groups.
“We are proceeding with the project. I know there has been a lot of noise in the media, but we are proceeding with the project.
“We are proceeding with detailed engineering, as you can tell, around the layout of the plant.
“We are proceeding with scooping and estimating.
“We have filed for our certificate of clearance from the EMA, as well as doing work on power plant development.
“We are spending quite a lot of Alcoa’s money as we do that. The first activity is test-boring.
“This is not the beginning of clearing the site. We are not going to be using bulldozers for this drilling.
“From day one, we are going to protect what is there as much as we possibly can.”
Overbey signalled that he expected the Government to stick to the memorandum of understanding signed with Alcoa.
“We did sign an agreement in principle with the Government in February.
“I hope that the Government views this as a very important document, which we both must take very seriously.
“We don’t look at an agreement in principle as something we might do someday, but we view it as a framework for the agreement that we will go forward.
“We have filed for our certificate of clearance from the EMA, and we are working with them.
“They have questions they wanted answered and we have answered it for them.”
Meanwhile, Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis, under whose portfolio the Town and Country Planning Division falls, said she expected Alcoa to abide by the rules.
“You have to have specific approval in order for the work to proceed on the site, and also EMA approval.
“So that is being examined, and there can be no construction until these approvals have been obtained.
“Certainly the Government insists that these agencies go through the process, and after they have done that, then they can proceed.”

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited


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