Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick (right, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); Chairman of the Barbados Rum Committee, Dr. Frank Ward (centre, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); and Managing Director of Preconco, Mark Maloney, look over the plans for the new molasses facilities. (A. Skeete/BGIS)

Come early 2014, Barbados will have new molasses storage facilities, which according to officials will provide a vital boost for the sugar cane and rum industries.

This new project was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, during a press briefing yesterday at the site for the construction of the new storage tanks at the Bridgetown Port.

Costing an estimated BDS $12 million, the project will be undertaken by Preconco Limited and is expected to run for 15 months.

Dr. Estwick said the construction project will provide a timely boost to the economy by way of generating employment, some 75 new jobs, and revenue for several Barbadian companies.

"This new enterprise that is going to be created here – the sand is going to come from Barbados; and the cement, the marl and labour. So, this is not foreign exchange intensive in terms of leakage out of the country. These are the types of projects that we do… This project is critical in sustaining the rum industry in Barbados and is important to the new sugar factory that we are going to put in place", he pointed out.

The Agriculture Minister also took the opportunity to update the media on the progress of several projects within his Ministry, noting that they too were geared towards stimulating the local economy and job market.

"We can point to the new Barbados Water Authority headquarters; it is a four storey building and two are already up. We can point to the new potable water supply project -The St. Philip Water Augmentation Project- that has been completed….Next week or so we go to Newcastle, St. John, because that project has been completed and all the piping will be in place for the connection of all the farmers in the area and we are also working assiduously to bring the new sugar factory to fruition," he said.

Managing Director of Preconco Limited, Mark Maloney, pointed out that the three new tanks were designed for the long term, with a lifespan of some 50 to 75 years.

He explained how the construction would be carried out over the course of the next year and a half. "We are well on our way in terms of design and over the next few weeks we will be commencing work on the foundation and moving forward with the installation of the components for the tanks. One tank, ???Tank A’, has been condemned already and we will be starting on that. There are two tanks right now that are in use and the molasses will be moved to ???Tank A’ when that is built and then we will take down the second tank and work until we have all three finished," Mr. Maloney said.

Chairman of the Barbados Rum Committee, Dr. Frank Ward, welcomed the new project, stressing that molasses was an essential component of the rum industry, therefore, proper storage facilities were necessary.

"Without a storage facility at the Bridgetown Port to take imported molasses, we will have no rum industry. Therefore, the initiative that has been taken to rectify the problems which have existed at the molasses terminal for a number of years, is very welcome from the perspective of the industry and it will go some way to ensuring that the industry continues to survive even though we have numerous challenges ahead of us," he added.


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