EU funded sea defence programme cannot meet October-month-end deadline
The European Union-funded Euros 17M programme to reconstruct 1.6 kilometers and rehabilitate approximately 18 kilometers of sea defence across the coastland will not be completed on its October 21, 2011 deadline.
This is according to Geoffrey Vaughn, Chief River and Sea Defence Officer, Ministry of Public Works.
The contactor, BK International, was awarded the 23-month contract in 2009, with the symbolic ground breaking event between the Government and the European Commission held in November 2009 at Clonbrook, East Coast Demerara.
The actual physical works under the project commenced in January 2010. Owing to several reasons, including the delay in accessing duty free, changes in certain designs and heavy rainfall, the project could not meet its completion date.
It was noted that the contractor wrote to the Government seeking an extension on the contract duration. An evaluation was done and reasons for the extension were identified.
Consequently, the Government of Guyana wrote to the European Union (EU) for February 28, 2012 to be the new completion date for the project which is financed under the Ninth European Union Development Fund (9th EDF).
The Government is still awaiting the EU to confirm if indeed the new completion date will be February 2012, Vaughn stated.
In June of this year, the European Union Ambassador to Guyana, Geert Heikens, told this publication that the body was worried about the slow progress of the maintenance aspect of the sea defence works that are currently being executed under the 9th EDF.
Ambassador Heikens had related that from assessments carried out, the body believed that the maintenance of existing sea defence structures would not be completed within its contractual period.
Vaughn mentioned that the programme has 33 sites, and with the anticipated new deadline, each site will have its own deadline within the new time frame. The programme is currently 65 percent completed, with the reconstruction aspect being 90 percent completed, while the rehabilitation programme is 55 percent completed.
He noted that if the contractor fails to complete the project within the new duration, another evaluation would be carried out but more than likely the company will have to pay for liquidated damages.