Virgin Islands biogas project progressing

By Anna Simet | February 13, 2014

A biogas project being developed by Tibbar Energy in the U.S. Virgin Island’s St. Croix is making steady progress.

CEO Tania Tomyn said the 7 MW project, which will utilize Viaspace Inc.-licensed Giant King Grass as its main feedstock, is moving full speed ahead. “We are in our final stages of permitting and expect to complete them ahead of schedule,” she said.

Final permits are expected in March.

Besides 1,500 acres of Giant King Grass, other digester substrates include fats, oils, greases and food waste, via a partnership with the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority, which has also signed an agreement with Tibbar to sell its treated wastewater for irrigation. The wastewater is currently discharged into the ocean.

Engineering and design are also on schedule, Tomyn said. Tibbar is working with Layne Heavy Civil Inc. based in Mission Woods, Kan., one of North America's largest waste water treatment engineering, construction and procurement contractors. Layne has a strategic partnership with entec biogas gmbh of Austria, which has built over 100 biogas plants worldwide.

Tomyn added that the project has expanded in respect to relationships with local farmers and organizations. “Tibbar has identified farmers that can use our extra organic fertilizer from our anaerobic digester, and we can directly impact the economy by offering free fertilizer to these local farmers,” she said. “Additionally, we are working with local organizations, such as animal rescues, that are in need of resources that we are able to offer such as hay.”

A group of students and teachers from New Jersey’s Rutgers University recently toured the GKG Farm on the South Shore, and another group is scheduled to visit mid-March, according to Tomyn.

The full electrical output of the facility is under contract to the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority through a 25-year power purchase agreement. Tibbar expects to be producing power by June 2015.





7 Responses

  1. Garcia Travont



    It is not funded and no one in there right mind would fund $75 M for a 7MW facility, unless it is the us government ! Will never pass anyone's financial deep dive

  2. Stuart Hayes



    If it is not funded then someone has spent ALOT of money to get it to where it is. Sounds like an interesting project, but if it is 75 million US dollars for 7 megawatts and they must spend money to grow and harvest the energy crops, it may be tough to make a profit? Hope it gets funded and they make a go of it. Here in the UK there are many of these types of projects going in, but not at that cost. Wish them luck and time will tell if they get it funded.

  3. Shelly Harrison



    It is hard to believe they have spent all this time and are not funded. I have been following this project down here for several years and assumed it was always funded. I feel terrible for them as all this work and publicity and it will just fade away. Unfortunately many VI projects start off promising the Moon and then never delivery even moon dust. Terrible to hear, but maybe they will find someone with money at the end? Lets hope so. Hate to see another group from the US mainland come down seeking paradise and discovering it is a tough place to make a living down here. Good LUCK! Praying for you

  4. Chuck



    Based on an internet search it does not appear that Tibbar has ever done an AD plant? Not sure the CEO has nay experience or education in this field. Probably why no one has loaned them money. People loan money to people that have experience and a track record? Not sure Tibbar has either.

  5. Sue



    They must have some kind of loan from someone? They have and are doing a lot of work. The tibbar we site has lots of pictures of their projects and they say they have done many of them. Just because you cannot find them on the internet does not mean they may have done some projects? I am sure they have a very experienced staff with years of energy experience. They will get this electricity plant running real soon and all the nay sayers will be silent! GO TIBBAR

  6. Greg C.



    I went on-line and was also unable to to find any reference to a single project TIbbar Energy had done in the anaerobic digester business. There web-site shows a bunch of pictures but they all appear to be just pictures of projects they pulled from other internet sites. Looks very suspicious, and there was some internet references to Tania's husband Aaron Smith, (does not look like she uses his last name), federal conviction for RICO act charges for environmental crimes. May not be the same guy, but unfortuantley I suspect it is. Hate to say it but no experience and potential past legal environmental issues probably have scared investors away.

  7. Tony



    Does not look like they are anymore than a store front selling something they have no knowledge. I looked at the hole in the truck article and it looks like it is Tania's husband. Scary that they got this far with WAPA!!! WAPA must not have vetted them and or maybe Aaron did what he does best!


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