Asphalt plant transferred to Harbour Bridge – Benn

The Bitumen (Asphalt) Plant, purchased and installed at a total cost of $169 million in July of 2009 was transferred to the Demarara Harbour Bridge (DHB) Corporation after operations ceased in July 2013.

This transfer was effected on August 1, 2013 from under the purview of the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD). However, the plant still remains at its original Garden of Eden, East Bank Demarara location. Public Works Minister Robeson Benn, in a written response to questions asked by APNU MP Annette Ferguson in Parliament on Thursday last, said the operations of the plant had ceased because of a lack of competent and experienced personnel within the T&HD to manage the plant.

According to a letter dated October 2009 and written by then acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Public Works Leslie Wilburg, the plant was sourced from India after considerable discussions were held with national personnel and was purchased from Vinayak Road Equipment. Addressing concerns about its ability to function, Wilburg wrote, “Notwithstanding the frequency difference of 50HZ/60HZ in terms of the equipment/utility supply, respectively, it was confirmed in writing by the supplier (Vinayak Road Equipment) that the system design allows for the plant’s safe and sustainable operation within the current frequency limits. This is also the view of the Ministry of Public Works and Communication’s experts and it is apt to note that the 50/60 HZ configuration allows for the removal and set up of the plant on a generator for large out of town projects where a main supply is unavailable.”

The plant was bought to boost the asphalt production capacity of the T&HD since the 35-year-old plant it had at the time had experienced consistent downtime which stymied production.

Ferguson had questioned the expenditure of $65.6 million on bitumen. However, in his response, Benn wrote that bitumen was not purchased. He explained that the sum represented $37.1 million paid by the Public Works Ministry and $28.4 million paid by six contractors to the T&HD for asphaltic concrete. This was never honoured, he said and the money was subsequently refunded to the ministry and the contractors.

Meanwhile, the current state and future of the asphalt plant is unknown as efforts to contact Benn and DHB General Manager Rawlston Adams proved futile.

Comments  

QC boy scores 25 CSEC passes

Michael Bhopaul, 16, doesn’t know if he is this year’s best performer at    the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) Examinations, but with preliminary results showing that he has obtained passes in 25 subjects, he will be hard to top.

By ,

Lusignan prisoners turn over weapons, apologise after unrest

Inmates at the Lusignan Prison turned over 33 improvised weapons yesterday morning to prison authorities, who say that they also apologised to the prison staff for the unrest at the facility on Friday night.

Berbice lawyer arrested after alleged hit and run

Well known Berbice attorney Chandra Sohan was arrested on Friday after he allegedly struck a pedestrian in a hit and run accident along the Williamsburg Public Road.

Linden church leader stages march against homosexuality

For a little more than an hour yesterday, the streets outside the Mackenzie Market rang with the voices of dozens of Linden residents who turned out to support a march against homosexuality.

By ,

Jawalla storm victim identified as pregnant mother of two

The woman killed during the violent storm in Jawalla, Region Seven on Friday, has been identified as a mother of two, who was seven months pregnant.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×