British Virgin Islands set to launch own asphalt plant
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is set to have its own asphalt plant in the coming weeks.
The announcement was made by the Director of Public Works, Jeremy Hodge, who revealed that the plant will give the department the capability to fix roads in a more timely manner.
The plant's equipment is still being configured, and finishing touches are being added to others.
Hodge stated that the plant will be brought into commission by the end of June.
Once operational, the Public Works department will be recruiting men and women from the community to operate the plant and build asphalt roads across the territory.
"After the plant is up, we're going to train people on how to build and run the plant.
We're also going to train people on how to build asphalt roads.
We'll be inviting an engineer to come and do work with our engineer to administer training so that persons who have that interest and inclination for that (building roads) can train and build their own teams because we have lots of roads to rebuild," Hodge explained.
The department will be recruiting young men and women who received employment opportunities under the government's RATED (Registration, Apprenticeship, Training, Employment, and Development) programme.
Hodge stated that those individuals will be paid while they learn to pave asphalt roads.
The Public Works Department also received auxiliary equipment to support the plant, including five tanks of oil, equivalent to fifteen 20-yard Public Works trucks; a paver; a roller; and a milling machine used to recycle old asphalt.
The asphalt plant is being touted as an investment that will save the government thousands of dollars as it will not have to contract private companies to pave roads in the community.