The facility, located in the Public Works Garage and Machine Repair Shop at Prospect, provides fuel for vehicles and heavy equipment owned by the government and statutory bodies.
Hon. Spencer Brand, NIA Minister of Public Works, explained that in conjunction with switching fuel providers, the government took the opportunity to upgrade the facility.
“When I became Minister with responsibility for Public Works one of the things I recognized was the kind of loose arrangement that I saw here at the Public Works Department when it comes to fuel. We would have entered into a tender process with the two fuel providers here on the island of Nevis, Sol [EC Ltd] and Delta [Petroleum St. Kitts Ltd], and at the end of that process Sol would have provided to the government a proposal that we felt was much more acceptable to the people of Nevis, hence we would have embarked on this project.
“I believe at the end of the day my aim and the Government’s aim was to ensure greater safety at the Public Works dispensing station here at Prospect. I am also delighted to see that the workers who will be handling the fuel will not only feel a lot safer but they are now able to do their job in a much more efficient manner. I also believe there will be greater accountability of the fuel that is being dispensed here at the Government’s Repair Shop,” he said.
He expressed satisfaction with the improvements made at the facility.
“I am indeed very satisfied with the practical completion of this project. I want to say thanks to my Cabinet colleagues who supported this initiative and thank you to the Director [of Public Works] who had oversight of this project. I also want to say thank you to Sol; I know they had some challenges with this project due to shipment of materials due to COVID, but we are satisfied that they were able to deliver in a timely manner, on budget, and at a standard we feel is acceptable to the people of Nevis.”
Mr. Jevon Williams, Director of Public Works, said the Ministry embarked on the project in April 2022 with a view to modernize the fuelling station. He gave an overview of the work that was carried out.
“We have been using the new fuel dispensing system for the past few weeks. It is practically completed; there is some minor work to be done to bring it to 100 percent completion, however it is in full operation as we speak.
“The work done here was extensive. It encompassed the installation of the new fuel-dispensing unit with all new electrical and pumping system, and a canopy has been constructed over the fuel pump. All the pumps and the electrical system were placed underground. A new safety system was added to the design and a new 6000-gallon fuel tank put in. It’s a split tank that accommodates the storage of both diesel and gasoline,” he informed.
Mr. Samuel James, Supervisor at the fuel dispensing station, said the new system is already proving to be beneficial with respect to the efficiency and accountability of the refuelling process.
“The experience thus far is a good one because this is a digital dispenser and because of what we have been able to put in place we are able to dispense fuel as efficiently as possible and minimize mistakes. We now have a canopy over the unit that provides shade and shelter from rain when persons are refuelling. It’s something that was well though out by the government,” he said.
The NIA also constructed a new concrete building at the facility which will serve as the welding and repair shop. Mr. Williams said the building will soon be outfitted with new equipment in addition to the existing ones to provide a safer work space for employees at the Repair Shop.