KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Feb. 19, IWN – The government is engaging in talks with Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela as it tries to source asphalt for the paving of the runway at the international airport at Argyle.
Gonsalves said a team from Port-of-Spain was expected to visit St. Vincent last November, after he wrote the Kamla Persad Bissessar government asking for whatever help her country could give.
Gonsalves’ letter came on the heels of a statement by an official of a state-owned company in Trinidad saying he would support the donation, from the company to this country, of all asphalt needed for the EC$652 million airport.
Gonsalves, however, said the team from Trinidad could not visit last November.
“So, what they have asked us to do is to send all the specification with the quantum, with every single facet,” Gonsalves told a press conference last week.
“So, I asked Minister [of Works Sen. Julian] Francis to do that for the roads and I have asked [Chief Executive Officer of the Argyle International Development Company,] Rudy Matthias to do that for the airport.
“Rudy told me that the numbers are being finalised, and so to, Julian. In the meantime, we are also doing the same thing with asphalt out of Venezuela with PetroCaribe,” Gonsalves further said.
He said Caracas has said it can deliver, to St. Vincent, three to four ISO tanks every month for the asphalt mix.
“The Ministry of Works says that may be a little too much for them but I told them give me the numbers.
“Because, if we get it from Venezuela, we can get under the PetroCaribe agreement with the 40 per cent delayed payment. So, it is a matter which I am working on,” Gonsalves said.
He also said that there is a plan for dealing with the nation’s roads, some of which are in a dilapidated condition.
“Believe me, I tell you this today. I have a strategic plan for dealing with the roads. And, you will hear even more of it,” Gonsalves said at a press conference.