The new town of Bartica now has a local source of asphalt which is expected to create more road work projects and thousands more jobs.
Local construction company, Associated Construction Services (ACS) has set up an asphalt plant in the town that has the potential to produce 300 tonnes of asphalt on a daily basis, resulting in more local construction and maintenance projects, which also translate to more work for locals.
Minister of Social Cohesion Amna Ally, Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson and owner of ACS, Peter Lewis and regional and municipal officials help a young girl cut the ribbon to officially commission the asphalt plant in Bartica
The investment which is valued approximately $150M was commissioned on Saturday by Minister of Social Cohesion, Amna Ally, Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Annette Ferguson and proprietor of ACS, Peter Lewis.
Also present were Region Seven Chairman, Gordon Bradford, Mayor of Bartica, Gifford Marshal and other regional and municipal representatives.
During the exercise, Minister Ally assured residents of the administration’s commitment to assist the region in leveraging their natural and human resources for the town’s development.
She also promised that the crucial investment by ACS would be one of several to come, that would speak to strategically positioning the town of Bartica for enhanced economic development.
Reassuring that “Region Seven is on the cusp of significant development” she noted that the commissioning of the asphalt plant is an indication that development of the region’s roads has been priortised.
Minister Ferguson applauded the “timely investment” as the government has committed to ensuring all-weather roads in the hinterland. “With this asphalt plant being here, it will see many road projects moving from loam, DBST (Double Bituminous Surface Treatment), with asphalt roads becoming a reality,” she said.
She added that this would aid in the elimination of the environment being polluted and residents being affected by dust in their homes. It will also result in the reduction of cost associated with getting asphalt material to Region Seven, she said.
Established in 1997, ACS of Hampshire, Corentyne, Berbice provides, in all three counties in Guyana, a wide range of construction services. These include the building of roads, the rental of machinery and equipment, and provision of ongoing charitable support to the community at large.
Minister Amna Ally commissions the Asphalt plant.
In fact, the family business has always had a strong commitment to charity.
Regional Chairman Bradford explained that in Bartica, ACS has continued to support the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) on a number of projects and initiatives.
Bradford explained that earlier in the year, the RDC, took the decision to “doing away with chip seal roads,” as these were “not standing up to the rigours of the type of vehicles that traverse the local roads,” he explained.
“We took that decision that any road that we are going to construct there from must be asphalt surface,” Bradford said. He explained that Lewis, in hearing of the RDC’s decision, took up the challenge to help the council meet its goal.
ACS investment in Bartica covers the preparation of the land for the facility and the acquisition and installation of the full computerised plant that was procured from India and assembled by an Indian engineer. The engineer also spent one month in Guyana providing training to the local staff that will manage the facility.
Mayor Marshall said that the multi-million dollar investment in the township of Bartica is testimony that the new municipality is leading the way and will definitely be the model of Guyana in economic, sports, health and green energy.
“ …the season to be happy is now and the place to be happy is in the beautiful place of Bartica…when someone can leave Region Six and come to Bartica to make a major investment you know that Bartica is the place to be,” Marshall said.
The Asphalt plant
Going forward, he promised that the town council will work feverishly to ensure that Bartica promotes a green economy. He assured that the town council will work with the local contractors to ensure that Bartica’s pristine environment is not destroyed in the name of development.
This is the second asphalt plant set up by ACS, in a show of corporate support. In 2014, the company invested more than $100 million in the establishment of a modern asphalt plant in Tarlogie Village, Corentyne Berbice. The plant was the first of its kind in the Ancient County, serving to provide quality asphaltic concrete.
It is important to have a local source of asphalt for projects, as well as regional and municipal public works projects as asphalt must be delivered hot, shortly after it is produced in order to spread it, roll it, and for the asphalt to properly bond and cure for pavement.
Trucking asphalt longer distances increases costs and environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions.