As the world is moving to adopt measures for climate change and a cleaner environment, small businessman, Kent “Bauxton” Francois is willing to offer his expertise in Diesel Technology to help Grenada save money through the adoption of the right technology in using diesel.
In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper, Francois who operates an automobile parts selling business at Grand Mal in St. George’s proudly showcased his diploma after completing a one year course in Diesel Technology at the Florida campus of Universal Technical Institute (UTI).
He said that he was offered job opportunities to remain and work in the United States but decided to come back home to assist any company that was seeking to save money from their spending budget on diesel usage.
According to Francois, a major company in the U.S came on campus to hire the best students in the classroom but he turned them down.
“They came … they interviewed about 80 of us. I got hired but to make a decision between the states and Grenada, it’s not a hard decision to make in my case because I’m set up here and here needs that type of technology…”, he said.
Francois stated that he is prepared to assist government and any private sector entity that is prepared to put systems in place for better use of diesel technology.
The small business operator believes that if the right people on the island are prepared to listen to him then he can play a role in fashioning the appropriate legislation for the industry.
He said the island is already a heavy user of diesel given the amount of heavy equipment and trucks in Grenada but nobody is monitoring the emissions like in other more developed societies.
Saying that emissions is “a big thing in the US”, Francois noted that truck drivers can easily be pulled over on the highways by a State Trooper who is allowed by law to “put a test on the exhaust and charge him $5000 (fine) just so…”.
He said: “In terms of the emissions, they take that serious and it has to be taken serious anywhere now because with all the pollution and so forth, we have to make sure especially heavy equipment, tyre trucks, all them big heavy equipment meet the requirement.
“I don’t know what Grenada standard on that is but at least…I am not going to interfere with that to say they should do that but I am telling you they have to take care of that because if they’re signatories (to international agreements on emissions) and they’re getting monies from countries and they talk about pollution, they suppose to show that (they are doing something to ease emission levels).
Francois spoke of making contact with government at the highest possible level including Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell on his willingness to help in providing his knowledge on diesel technology.
“I want to be in the field. I want to be anywhere that deals with the industry, diesel trucking, the whole works, anything that deals with that. You can put programmes in place, set it up where they can set up a Preventative Maintenance Programme, where they can check on the vehicles and keep (up) the standards.
“It’s a money saver because with a proper PM Programme, down time in equipment is money. You cannot afford to have a Lorry Truck or a Trailer Truck, Fire Truck and all these things down for months. If you could plan ahead, not to put cost on them but to tell them in so and so time, you need to take care of that, to change this, to be on track – you have to check on the safety too of the equipment…
“I had a meeting with the Prime Minister on that and he said that anything that could save the government money he is on board with it. If you telling me you spending a million dollars a year in maintenance and I set up maintenance programme for you and I show you how to work with that, it’s big saving.
That’s not just for Government that could be for GRENLEC – that could be for anybody who have fleet that want to save.
Francois disclosed that the world is now in a computerized aged and although the technology offered in the Florida course was very advanced it can be adopted in Grenada.
“It’s not too advanced for us – you cannot enact everything from out there here but the mere fact that you are part of the system and you sign on to (agreements) that want you to be more environmentally friendly, it forces you to adopt the technology because you want a clean air act to make sure that it (is) not just a guess thing…”, he said.
He stressed the reality is that countries adapt to changes in technology and one “can bring in changes but changes don’t mean cancelling all that you have”.
“We announce that we going and get oil so diesel and gas will be part of Grenada for a long while but the technology is a money saver,” he remarked.