June 27, 2008
Equipment rolls to Argyle

Reiterating that he is by no means perfect, Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves, in an emphatic mood, reminded Vincentians that he was chosen by God to build the Argyle International Airport.{{more}}

“He (God) has chosen one of his children, Ralph, to lead the process to build this international airport. Now I say this to you: God does not choose perfect people to do his work you know,” the Prime Minister said, at Argyle on Wednesday, June 25, 2008, as he reminded the nation via a live radio broadcast that David was not a perfect man, yet he was used by God.

The Prime Minister’s address was made at the Argyle International Airport Project site where a second caravan of equipment had just been delivered.

Dr Gonsalves pointed out that building the international airport was a “revolutionary act”, “the largest project in the history of this country”. A project which is going to cost approximately EC$500, 000,000.

Prime Minister Gonsalves, reiterated his administration’s gratitude to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his government, as well as the people of that country for “their tremendous generosity” in delivering to St.Vincent and the Grenadines the second batch of 43 pieces of equipment valued at EC$27 million or US$10.3 million.

“It is a terrific gift. We have enough equipment to start,” said the elated Prime Minister, adding that the project still requires three other pieces of equipment to officially start. Until the International Airport Development Corporation (IADC) receives the three (two compactors which will be donated by Austria and a small crane) needed to officially start the earthworks, if deemed necessary, such equipment will be rented locally, the Prime Minister pointed out.

The caravan of equipment that was transported to the Argyle site comprised of five bulldozers, two motor scrapers, three loaders, nine dump trucks, three motor levellers, three water trucks, a wagon drill, two backhoes, three hydraulic excavators, one fuel truck, a mobile workshop, two pressure washers, a set of electrical welding equipment, cutting equipment, two hydraulic jacks, 49 kilograms of parts, among several other pieces of equipment.

Dr.Gonsalves disclosed that the airstrip will be three kilometres long, with the earthwork for the first kilometer commencing at Stubbs.

The first caravan of equipment was transported to Argyle on Thursday, May 22, 2008, from the Campden Park Port. Onlookers came out of business places, lined the sidewalks, and found all available vantage points to get a glimpse of the spectacle.

Meanwhile, three Cubans arrived in the state on Wednesday to join a team of Cuban professionals who are already here. They will be responsible for the blasting of rocks on the site.

Dr.Gonsalves said Cabinet has called the team, the “Chatoyer/Che Contingent” which will consist of Vincentians, Venezuelans and Cubans.

Julian Francis, Minister Housing and Lands extended thanks and appreciation to all those who assisted in getting the vehicles to Argyle. He announced that there will be a ground breaking ceremony for the project at Argyle on July 13, 2008.