According to a release from the Office of the Prime Minister, the refinery was shut down for routine maintenance for approximately two and half months. However, during the period additional maintenance work was required which extended the downtime. This resulted in a supply challenge in the asphalt market.
General Manager at Petrojam, Winston Watson says the company also experienced challenges in sourcing the commodity on the international market.
“Annually, the refinery shuts down for routine and special maintenance activities. When the Refinery was down, the company was largely supplying the market with asphalt through importation,” Watson explained.
“With the restart of the refinery, we are now more than able to fulfil all outstanding asphalt orders to the National Work Agency (NWA), the National Water Commission (NWC) and other customers,” he continued.
“We wish to apologize to our customers for the delay that occurred while the Process Unit was offline.”
The Asphalt Unit is designed to produce approximately one thousand barrels per day.
Mr Watson also informed that the Process Unit is now in full operation; producing the full slate of petroleum products.
On July 30, Opposition Spokesman on Transport Mikael Phillips, called on the government to immediately deal with the critical shortage of asphalt, which had led to a crisis in the road construction sector as most of the road building and repair projects were at a standstill.
Mr. Phillips said many roads had been prepared by the National Works Agency (NWA) contractors and in some cases holes were made even deeper in the preparatory phase. He said the contractors had temporarily abandoned the work sites, leaving many of the roadways in an even more dangerous condition; and many citizens and motorists enraged.
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