A reply to your article  ‘Volcanic material no good for Port use – Minister’
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May 12, 2023

A reply to your article ‘Volcanic material no good for Port use – Minister’

EDITOR: Dredged sea sand should never be used in cement because its salt content halves the life of the cement end product or application. Sea sand can be used if washed through a proper freshwater washing plant. The sand should be analysed after washing to determine if the salt content has been removed, if not rewash until clear of salt.

There are UN directives asking governments not to dredge for sea sand. If dredged sand is used unwashed, besides shortening the life of the cement, it also attacks the steel reinforcing bars used in strengthening concrete products and applications. Thus, the rusting re-bars expand and split and destroy the surfaces of concrete applications within a few short years. Almost everyone in Saint Vincent has seen blown surfaces on concrete columns that used sea sand, and it is already a nationwide problem.

If the intent is to dredge, it should only occur in ports and harbours to clean up silting. Dredging in the sea around the airport will cause seabed damage and destroy nature and is irresponsible.

As far as using volcanic materials instead of, or as an additive to cement is, in fact, a well-known procedure, and there are hundreds of Google pages on the very subject.

The problem with SVG is that there are many people in charge of ministries with absolutely no knowledge of the subject in which they act or speak. I think this is one of those times, and unless SVG wakes up, it will cost the nation dearly. I am sure one or two million dollars are already wasted on this matter and the waste will be cumulative when things start to fall apart in ten years’ time.

From a “Lady That Knows”