November 30, 2007
EC$15M 100-ton crane for airport construction

AN EC$15 MILLION, 100-ton crane is expected here next week Tuesday; as money representing the 40 per cent of the fuel funds borrowed under the Petro Caribe agreement is put to work.{{more}}

This is one of the first two projects that funds from the Petro Caribe agreement will be used to finance, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves announced.

The other is the purchasing of two new engines for VINLEC, which will generate an additional 9 mega watts of electricity for the company.

“So much development is taking place in the country, that we need to have increased capacity, and more than that, increased, reliable capacity,” Dr Gonsalves said, as he pointed to problems that exist with the aging engines at VINLEC’s Cane Hall power plant.

He was speaking at a press conference last Monday, at which he addressed the development of the Petro Caribe agreement that this country, along with other regional territories have with the South American oil giant, Venezuela.

As he touted the wisdom of the Petro Caribe agreement, Dr Gonsalves announced that from VINLEC’s importation of fuel from Venezuela alone this year, about EC$4.6 million will be made available under the Petro Caribe agreement.

According to the design of the agreement (Petro Caribe), only 60 per cent of the cost of petroleum products has to be paid within a 90-day period to Venezuela. The remaining 40 per cent is kept back to be used for various state projects. This balance takes the form of a soft loan, and is repayable over a period of 25 years at 1 percent interest.

Dr Gonsalves explained that the crane that has been ordered is crucial; as it will be used to lift the heavy-duty equipment expected to arrive shortly from Venezuela; as earth works begin at the site of the Argyle International Airport. (KJ)