Former Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson has refuted claims that the Eco 2000 Batch Mix Asphalt Plant was non-functional.
In a Facebook post responding to reports in the media, Patterson said, “While not included in the Audit Report – articles about the new Asphalt Plant not being operational, are not true, I have been reliably informed that the plant is fully functional.”
The $488 million plant arrived in Guyana in July 2019 and is expected to produce some 160 tonnes of material per hour.
However, in October, Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill had ordered a probe into the Asphalt Plant after an article appeared in the Kaieteur Newspaper.
The article claimed that persons at the Asphalt Plant and the Ministry are reselling asphalt sold to the Government of Guyana for their own benefit.
The investigation, which was completed last week, unearthed damning findings. Among other things, the probe discovered that there were no credit policies or procedures in place.
Moreover, it was found that trucks collecting asphalt at the Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara (EBD) location, would usually travel 10 miles to the Demerara Harbour Bridge to weigh the asphalt when there is another location that can facilitate the weighing at a lower price.
To this end, the probe found that the asphalt plant paid more than $9.8 million to a Trinidadian company in 2015 despite the business not being registered until 2016.