A new roller will help spread asphalt produced at a government plant that is expected to start operating by the end of June, according to government. (Photo: GIS)

After months of delays, the government’s new asphalt plant is expected to be commissioned by the end of June, officials announced last week.

Public Works Department Director Jeremy Hodge said the target date was made possible by technical adjustments forwarded recently by AMMANN, the Swiss firm that manufactured the plant.

“In 2022, we tried to get the plant commissioned during the fourth quarter,” Mr. Hodge said. “However, in accordance with the contractual agreement with AMMANN, they found that further configurations had to be made as a result of the decided staging location of the plant.”

Mr. Hodge explained that the plant is currently located in a quarry, and that he is grateful to the area’s proprietors for permitting its operations there. However, because of the dust in the quarry, officials have been seeking another location instead, he said.

The search for a site began in 2021, as the department’s compound was too small to accommodate operations, according to the director.

Extra equipment

Auxiliary equipment was also obtained to support the plant, including five tanks of oil, each of which is the equivalent of 15 20-yard Public Works trucks; a paver; a roller; and a milling machine used to recycle the asphalt, according to government.
Commissioning the plant will save the department money given that one 20-yard truck of asphalt currently cost about $12,000, Mr. Hodge said.

“Paving one mile of road 24 inches wide, three inches thick would cost north of $690,000,” he added. “Having our own plant will cost the government one third of that and will allow the department to work year-round on our roads.”


Communications and Works Minister Kye Rymer said in the House of Assembly in February that the government was aware of the poor state of the territory’s roads and promised that the asphalt plant would bring relief.

“Our commuters and visitors deserve better roads to traverse,” he said.

“The replacing and commissioning of our plant, along with the auxiliary equipment, will allow for the major undertaking of road rehabilitation works throughout the territory. Once the plant is commissioned, we will be carrying out a phased road programme to address areas in need of repair and resurfacing.”