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Argyle International Airport is expected to become operational this year. (Photo: Friends of AIA/Facebook)
Argyle International Airport is expected to become operational this year. (Photo: Friends of AIA/Facebook)
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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC — The Barbados-based CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) says it has approved an EC$2.02 million loan to St. Vincent and the Grenadines government for the new Argyle International Airport (AIA).

It said that the funds would be used to purchase equipment to establish a 218 kVa solar energy farm that will reduce electricity costs at the multi-million dollar facility.

CDF’s chief executive officer, Ambassador Lorne McDonnough, said that the pilot renewable energy project would provide approximately 35 per cent of the new airport’s solar lit and air-conditioned needs.

“It will be the first part of a wider programme of power generation to meet the needs of the AIA at peak demand and full operation and it is expected that at full generation any excess electricity will be made available through the grid to the rest of St. Vincent.

“The CDF is promoting greening, or environmentally friendly energy projects in the region and is striving to establish the plant at Argyle as a flagship for the initiative,” he added.

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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said that EC$729 million airport which has missed several completion deadlines “will be completed this year and ready for operation”.

3 replies on “CDB funds for Argyle Airport”

  1. Patrick Ferrari says:

    From 11 June 2013

    “The EC$208 million (EC$1=US$0.37) that the Government will borrow will
    complete the EC$652 million Argyle international airport, Minister of Works,
    Sen. Julian Francis says.
    “Mr Speaker, 208 million [dollars] came a little bit late but it is necessary to
    finish it,” Francis told Parliament on Friday during debate on a bill to permit
    the Government to borrow for the airport.
    The Government had to seek Parliament’s permission to borrow EC$148.7
    million of the EC$208 million contained in the bill.
    “And I bring the argument again that I advanced last time and I advanced
    in 2006 that I am convinced, in my analysis, that the international airport
    and the project, that on completion of construction, the Arnos Vale crown
    jewel that we own, the Arnos Vale 62 acres [of land], will be valued more
    than whatever bridging and interim financing we have for the Argyle
    international airport,” Francis said.
    The Government plans to decommission the E.T. Joshua Airport and sell the lands as part of financing plan for the
    Argyle airport project.
    Francis in 2006 said that because of the financing plan, the airport would be built “debt free”.
    “I put whatever professional life I have on that statement, Mr. Speaker. Because I have looked at the figures, I have
    done the evaluation …” he said of the analysis he presented on Friday.
    He said that Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, said the EC$204 million that the
    Government will borrow is US$75 million of the US$80 million needed to complete the airport.
    “Don’t forget that. He said he knows where he will find the next 5 million,” Francis said of the Prime Minister.
    “This money will bring the airport to completion. But it is not going to be completed within this financial year. It will
    become operational into another budgetary process, because the 2014 Budget is coming in,” Francis further said.
    Gonsalves told Parliament that the EC$148.7 million Parliament gave permission to borrow last week is all soft loans.
    He said he will tell Parliament next year how much of the money was spent and how it was spent.”

    IWN –

  2. Patrick Ferrari says:

    I have been ready for Mariah Carey for some time now. Alas …

    “Ready for operation” is somewhere between “substantially complete” and “operational by.”

  3. Thank you for the reminder Mr Ferrari. We need to keep reminding each other of all these lies that we have been fed for years now.

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