The Burt Point wastewater treatment plant is expected to be commissioned next month, Communications and Works Minister Kye Rymer announced last week. (Photo: DANA KAMPA)

The hurricane-damaged Burt Point wastewater treatment plant is still out of commission, but Communications and Works Minister Kye Rymer said last week that it should be coming online next month.

The plant started processing sewage in late 2015, but it has been out of commission since sustaining damage during Hurricane Irma in 2017.

“The damage rendered the plant non-functional, as some of the major components of the plant sustained damage that required them to undergo extensive repairs or replacement,” Mr. Rymer said while responding to a question from opposition member Julian Fraser in the House of Assembly on Sept. 5.

As a result of the non-functional plant, the territory has continued to flush raw sewage directly into the ocean off Slaney Point.

The contract

The repair contract stems from Cabinet’s August 2020 decision that Biwater International Limited, which built the plant and a similar one in Paraquita Bay, should be hired to recommission the facility.

A contract was signed Aug. 22, 2022, and in June Mr. Rymer reported that $1.7 million of the $2.6 million contract had been spent. In the update last week, Mr. Rymer said that $2,341,065.86 has now been spent.

“Based on the work programme of the contractor, we anticipate that the treatment plant will be commissioned in October 2023,” Mr. Rymer said. “The majority of the material has been shipped and received at the Burt Point treatment plant, and efforts are ongoing for the specialised personnel to travel to the Virgin Islands.”

Request for proposals

Last Thursday, the government also issued a request for proposals to manage, operate and maintain the Burt Point plant and another in Cane Garden Bay.

The $1.8 million plant in Cane Garden Bay was officially commissioned in July 2022. The contract to build it was awarded to the United States-based company Toshiba Water Solutions in 2019, and officials said it will serve the area for at least 30 years.

Companies interested in bidding to manage, operate and maintain the plants can request documents by emailing with the heading “Manage and Operate the Wastewater Treatment Plants at Burt Point and Cane Garden Bay.”

Tenders are due by 10 a.m. Oct. 17 to the tender box at the Ministry of Finance’s Procurement Unit on the second floor of RFG Place. For more information, call 468- 4243 or 468-5921.