Please allow me to respond to an article published in today’s edition of Stabroek News, under the headline “Patterson says Asphalt Plant fully functional, questions aspects of audit findings”.
Editor, it is my firm view that the former Minister of Public Infrastructure owes the nation an apology for leading the people astray. In this article, Patterson claims to have been “reliably informed that the plant is fully functional” while rubbishing the findings of a special investigation ordered to probe alleged mismanagement at the Asphalt Plant.
Kindly allow me to update the former Minister, and the rest of the nation, on the accurate position of the Asphalt Plant at the moment.
On August 28, 2020 just after assuming office, myself and Minister Deodat Indar visited the Asphalt Plant to be updated on the progress of works. During that visit, the Main Power Control Cabinet was yet to be installed.
Testing of the systems
This aspect of the work was completed on November 25, 2020. On December 12, 2020 the German Engineer commenced rechecking and verifying the electrical and electronic components of the structure.
After completing this, he commenced testing of the systems.
These systems include the:
Cold Feed System
- Conveyer Systems
- Drying Systems
- Burner Systems
- Dust collection Systems
- Mixer System
- Hot aggregate storage
- Vibrating Screen System
- Reclaimed filler silo
- Bitumen Weighing Scale
- Granulate System
After the tests were conducted, it was found that three of the systems were not functioning, hence making the structure inoperable to date. The systems which are currently not functioning are the Burner System, the Bitumen Weighing Scale and the Granulate System.
The Burner is presently not working due to a software controller, which has to be configured for the use of Diesel Fuel. The Bitumen Weighing Scale was unable to be tested as two load cells were not operable due to moisture, likewise the Granulate System is unable to function as a result of a load cell that needs to be replaced.
Editor, let me make it clear that these findings were reported to the factory and the Germans will stand the expenses of these components, given that the structure has not been commissioned as yet.
The Factory Engineer left Guyana on January 04, 2021 and is anticipated to be back by mid-February for final testing and training of the Engineers and plant operators.
Finally, let me end by saying that the principal functions of the Asphalt plant are the drying, heating and cleaning of aggregates facilitated by the burner thermal energy, through communication with the BLS 3000. The BLS 3000 is the asphalt plant operational software.
Due to aforementioned issues (software and electronic components), the plant is not fully functional to date. I therefore urge Mr. David Patterson to apologize to the nation for his misleading statements.
Bishop Juan Edghill
Minister of Public Works