St. John’s Antigua- Fuel problems experienced in the last few weeks at the government abattoir is directly related to the design of the boilers at the facility, a team of technicians who visited the slaughterhouse have found.
The facility uses a gravity feed system, which means that when fuel drops below a certain level, boilers stop functioning, Public Works Minister Trevor Walker explained on OBSERVER Radio’s Voice of the People Thursday.
“When my technical people went to check to see what was going on, they realised that 750 gallons of fuel were in the tank but because of the poor design of the system, the fuel stopped flowing,” Walker added.
The boilers were heated up again on Wednesday after the Ministry of Public Works topped up the machine with an additional 250 gallons of fuel.
“It’s not a matter where we’re not giving them enough fuel. It’s about the design.”
The minister said “corrective measures” will be employed to ensure that the facility can function without the maximum amount of fuel. That corrective measure, the ministry confirmed, is the re-design of the fuel facility.
Abuse of fuel was one of the rumors circulating over the abattoir fuel troubles but Walker has ruled out that suspicion.
“That was our initial suspicion but when we checked, we are satisfied that it was not so,” he said.
The original reason reportedly given by Public Works for the fuel issues was financial.
Before Wednesday’s fuel delivery the abattoir tried to employ creative means to ensure that animals could be slaughtered in the interim.
The abattoir remained without fuel for several weeks, leaving workers idle and animals alive, manager Charlesworth Grant said in an earlier interview.