New multi-million dollar depot built with PetroCaribe funds opens
KINGSTOWN - The Hugo Chavez National Fuel Storage Facility capable of storing 34,000 barrels of fuel was opened here Tuesday with the authorities praising Venezuela for its role in establishing the facility.
The depot, a joint venture between the governments of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela, was constructed at a total cost of US$31.6 million under Caracas’ oil initiative, PetroCaribe.
Chief executive officer of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Electricity Company (VINLEC) Thornley Myers said that the fuel depot is the third most expensive capital project in the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, after the EC$700 million (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) airport under construction at Argyle, and the Lowmans Bay Power plant.
“It has been a long and sometimes difficult journey but the project has never suffered, due to the commitment of the government and people of the Bolivarian Republic under the leader of the eternal commandant Hugo Chavez Frias,” Myers told the ceremony, which was attended by Vice-President of Venezuela Jorge Arreaza and his wife, Rosa, the daughter of Chavez.
Work on the fuel depot began in 2007, the same year that PetroCaribe’s LPG filling station at Campden Park was inaugurated during a visit of then president of Venezuela, the late Hugo Chavez.
Myers said that Venezuela’s commitment to the project was demonstrated when Chavez visited the site in 2007 to symbolically mark the commencement of the project.
“The plant we today inaugurate will increase the storage of diesel from 12,000 barrel to 32,000 barrels. This is 1,120,000 imperial gallons. Based on the current usage of fuel at the Lowmans Bay Power Station, this will be sufficient fuel for a period of just over three months,” he said, noting that the fuel depot is located on seven acres of land and built to internationally acceptable standard.
The depot also has a 9,000-gallon water storage tank and is provided with foam generating devices to fight fires.
“This is a facility for this time and for all times to come. The Hugo Chavez National Fuel Storage Facility stand as a beacon of south-south cooperation and cooperation between neighbours washed by the Caribbean Sea,” Myers said.