What is your opinion on OIL Refinery?

Ten Questions to the Government, which Fall Outside the Scope of the Environmental Impact Assessment

1. Have any Dominicans been sent for training to gain skills needed to work at the Oil Refinery? How many jobs at the refinery will be taken by Dominicans?

An oil refinery is a modern high-tech enterprise, controlled by a team of experienced professionals. A rational owner would only entrust this kind of manufacture to fully trained, experienced people. That means, from about 400 open jobs, at least half can be trusted only to trained, experienced professionals. Those professionals will be invited from other countries. Dominica will have to conclude a treaty on terms to accommodate them. It will be probably be practically impossible to dismiss them. Thus, Dominicans and perhaps even their children probably won't get the best, most highly paid jobs until the foreign specialists leave. Dominicans may get these jobs only if they're trained and serve internships well in advance to gain the requisite experience. What provisions are being made for Dominicans to at least eventually staff the refinery?

2. Who'll buy the bunker fuel produced as a refinery by-product? There is not a good world market for that fuel. It's harder to sell than bananas, pineapples or coffee.

Bunker fuel is only used for ships. The market for it is already formed, and it's difficult for a new player to enter. If forward contracts aren’t in place when the refinery starts, this liquid will simply be discharged into the environment. Does the proposed refinery have an advanced bunker fuel contract in place?

The market doesn't take excess bunker fuel. The choice is to stop the factory or discharge it - it will be too late to protest. Discharged fuel is not like a superfluous banana, which will rot and give back fertilizers. Fuel oil is long-term pollutant deadly to nature.

3. Oil refinery operation needs an enormous amount of power. Does Dominica have sufficient reserve power generation capacity? Will that power be reliable?

A huge amount of energy would be needed to pump the oil in just one pipe with diameter of 10 feet and length at least a mile. And that's not the biggest expenditure of the electricity: the technological processes are even more power-consuming.

4. Will bunker fuel be burned generate electric power for the oil refinery?

If it is, then the generation of power for the refinery will itself become a major source of air pollution.

5. What provisions are being made for medical rehabilitation for people affected by the environmental pollution, for example treatment of children affected by bodily accumulation of heavy metals. Dominica doesn't such specialized medical care, so how much funding is provided for treating cancer patients abroad?

6. Dominica experiences hurricanes and earthquakes. Either can cause accidents and environmental and medical disasters. Has this been taken into account?

7. Oil refinery production must be uninterrupted, come hurricane or calm. How will oil be delivered during a hurricane? Will production be stored (in excess to that described below) if it can't be continuously removed, so that production isn't halted?

8. Where will the storage tanks for raw oil and finished products be located?

A minimum-size profitable oil refinery has a product output of 4 million tons per year, or more than 10 thousand tons per day. It needs to store finished products for at least a week. This is about 70 thousand tons for a week's output storage.

A storehouse for 1 thousand tons can be imagined in the form of a cube measuring 30 feet in the ribs, which can be compared with the Garraway Hotel. It will be needed to place 70 such "homes" on the island. Keep them together in one place is very dangerous because a fire would release energy comparable to an atomic bomb explosion. Where is the free land to place the scattered storage tanks? What will happen with all this oil during the hurricane like "David"? (See above.) Loading and unloading will have to be done even during storms, disregarding the danger.

9. Where will people currently employed in agriculture work? Will agricultural production be possible in an environment altered or polluted by the refinery?

10. What happens in Dominica after the refinery's production life?

Each oil refinery is designed and built to handle one certain type of oil and the shift to another type is practically impossible. Therefore oil handler (Dominica) becomes politically and economically dependent on the supplier. The world's prospected oil reserves are just enough for 40 more years according to American analysts. Should Dominica sacrifice its natural beauty for 40 years of what some call - but which many doubt - to be "progress"?

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