The new control panel for the nonfunctional Pockwood Pond incinerator has been installed by Consutech Systems LLC, and Skelton Electric Limited is completing the final electrical works, Health and Social Development Minister Carvin Malone said in the House of Assembly on Tuesday.
A Consutech technician must test and commission the facility before the repairs are officially completed, but Mr. Malone said it should be up and working “after the holiday season.”
He added that his ministry continues the process of overhauling the Virgin Islands’ waste management system, and will begin to seek public input on a draft Waste Management Strategy in January.
The announcement came after Third District Representative Julian Fraser complained about the 13-month-long repair process in the HOA on Friday, pointing out that the order for the panel had been placed in May and at the time still had not been installed.
“It is unbearable, untenable, unacceptable that in Pockwood Pond we have open burning for over a year,” he said.
The incinerator — which Consutech manufactured more than a decade ago — has been nonfunctional since a fire last November caused extensive damage.
In April Cabinet decided to waive the competitive tender process for electrical work and a new control panel. Mr. Malone told the HOA in late July that government had signed a $192,153.60 contract with Skelton Electric in May, and a $161,300 contract with Consutech in June, and made payments to both in July. He said at the time that he expected repairs to be completed by late September.
On Oct. 17 he said Consutech had informed him that the control panel was nearly completed and would be ready for shipment by Oct. 31, and that the firm would make a field service technician available to assist in the installation.
At the time he told Mr. Fraser that $292,370 has been spent so far, with $129,040 paid to Consutech for the control panel and $163,330 paid to Skelton Electric for electrical wiring. He said the remaining repairs were estimated to cost $353,453.
Mr. Malone also said in October that a Consutech-manufactured pollution-control scrubber, which government officials have been promising for more than a decade, would be in place in the first quarter of 2020.
Government signed a $1 million contract with Consutech in 2015 to manufacture the scrubber and later paid the company a $500,000 deposit, but the device has not been delivered. Department of Waste Management officials had previously said the scrubber was not expected to arrive before the plant resumes operations.
Mr. Malone made no mention of the scrubber on Tuesday.