The Government of the Virgin Islands’ highly anticipated asphalt plant is now on schedule to be commissioned by the end of the second quarter of 2023.
Director of the Public Works Department, Mr. Jeremy Hodge said the technical adjustments that would enable the commissioning of the highly anticipated asphalt plant was sent forward by AMMANN, the plant’s manufacturer, and as such by June of this year the facility should be operational.
Mr. Hodge said, “In 2022, we tried to get the plant commissioned during the fourth quarter, however in accordance with the contractual agreement with AMMANN, 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. The director added that search began in 2021 for a site for the plant, as the department’s compound was too small to accommodate operations.
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.
“Paving one mile of road twenty-four inches 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 added.
Minister for Works, Honourable Kye M. Rymer stated in the House of Assembly in February, that the Government was aware of the Territory’s current state of the road infrastructure.
“Our commuters and visitors deserve better roads to traverse; the replacing and commissioning of our plant, along with the auxiliary equipment, will allow for the major undertaking of road rehabilitation works throughout the Territory. Once the plant is commissioned we will be carrying out a phased road programme to address areas in need of repair and resurfacing,” Honourable Rymer said at the time.
The Public Works Department renders a wide range of services to both private and public entities throughout the Territory; and is responsible in ensuring that these services are delivered efficiently and economically.