Construction is expected to begin within the next week on a new $12 million molasses storage facilities at the Bridgetown Port.
Managing Director of Preconco, the contracting firm, Mark Maloney said this afternoon that the project, which involved the building of three new tanks, would employ some 75 people and take about 15 months to complete.
“The project duration will be 15 months. We’re well on our way in terms of design and over the next few weeks we will be commencing work on the foundations and then moving forward with the installation of the components for the tanks.
“There is one tank, tank A, that has been condemned already and we’ll be starting on that; and there are two tanks that are currently in use, and the molasses will be moved to tank A after it’s built and then we’ll be taking down the second tank and working until we have had all three tanks finished,” revealed Maloney.
Sharing the occasion at the Bridgetown Port with Maloney and Chairman of the Rum Committee, Dr. Frank Ward, to update the media on the facilities, Minister of Agriculture Dr. David Estwick said it was necessary to construct fresh storage tanks, because the existing one had reached a stage where they were not fit for use.
Estwick explained that new facilities were especially urgent, because molasses was essential for the production of rum, which in turn was a major foreign exchange earner for the local economy. In fact, the minister noted that one of the existing tanks even had to be condemned and was now partially demolished.
‘Forced to act’
“We were forced to have a new project where we are working with Preconco to design a new molasses facility here at the Bridgetown Port so we could effect a long term solution to the issue of storing molasses in Barbados for the rum industry. The tanks are in extremely poor condition,” Estwick added.
He said two of the three tanks were for storing imported molasses and the other the local product. Estwick pointed out that the construction of the new facilities was also required for the sustainability of the rum industry. (EJ)