The new Asphalt plant of the Government of the Virgin Islands (VI) is now on schedule to be commissioned by the end of the second quarter of 2023 according to the Director of the Public Works Department, Mr. Jeremy W. Hodge.
Mr Hodge in a release from the Government information service said the technical adjustments that would enable the commissioning of the plant was sent forward to the plant’s manufacturer, and as such by June of this year the facility should be operational.
“In 2022, we tried to get the plant commissioned during the fourth quarter, however in accordance with the contractual agreement with AMMANN [plant manufacturer], they found that further configurations had to be made as a result of the decided staging location of the plant.”
Mr. Hodge added that the plant is currently located in a quarry, and that he is grateful to the proprietors of the area for allowing its operations. He said another location was being sought, as the quarry is extremely dusty while adding that the search began in 2021 for a site for the plant, as the department’s compound was too small to accommodate operations.
Mr Hodge in a release from the Government
information service said the technical adjustments that would enable
the commissioning of the plant was sent forward to the plant’s
manufacturer, and as such by June of this year the facility should be
Cost to pave roads will see decrease
Mr. Hodge said that some of the auxiliary equipment attained in support of the plant were five tanks of oil, where one tank is the equivalent of fifteen of the twenty-yard Public Works trucks; a paver; a roller and a milling machine used to recycle the asphalt.
He said getting the plant up and going is in the department’s best interest as currently, one, twenty-yard truck of asphalt cost about $12,000.
He added that paving one mile of road twenty-four feet wide, three inches thick, would cost north of $690,000, "Having our own plant will cost the government one-third of that and will allow the department to work year-round on our roads,” Mr. Hodge said.
Minister for Works, Hon Kye M. Rymer speaking in the House of Assembly in February 2023 said once the plant is commissioned, the government will be carrying out a phased road programme to address areas in need of repair and resurfacing.