China Rail tipped for ‘Fip’ flopped Amaila Falls road
With Fip Motilall failing dismally to complete the US$15.4M contract he was handed by former President Bharrat Jagdeo, the contract is moving from hand to hand and may soon end up in the hands of the Chinese contractor.
Discussions are ongoing with China Railway First Company Limited to assist the hastening of the completion of the Amaila Falls Road. The road will facilitate the transportation of equipment and personnel to construct the Amaila Falls Hydropower Plant.
China Railway is the contractor identified to construct the Amaila Falls Hydropower Plant. Sithe Global, the developers of the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project, had expressed confidence in the ability of China Railway to build the plant in Guyana.
In July 2010, Government signed off on a loan deal to build the project and formalize the cooperation between the Guyana Power and Light Company, Sithe Global, China Development Bank and China Railway.
Though Transport and Hydraulics Minister, Robeson Benn, would not divulge too much about the project he said that the road is massively delayed but works are ongoing. He said that the contractor, Hassan Pasha, executing works in section seven, from the Kuribrong Bridge to the falls needs help. It is this section that China Railway may have to take up part responsibility of.
In November 2012, Pasha reported that “significant progress” had been made in section seven. He was awarded the $834M contract to complete works in that stretch which is said to be challenging because of the virgin rainforest.
However, it seems that this section is not progressing to expectation given the need to engage another company to assist with construction to enable works on the hydropower project.
This is not the only section that has experienced some difficulties- section six which was awarded to G. Bovell Construction Services is also behind schedule.
It was reported that the contractor was challenged with machinery to carryout works and the project was stalled.
According to Benn, Government had to terminate Bovell’s contract after the equipment was repossessed.
This may be déjà vu since the first contractor Synergy Holdings Inc. awarded the contract to build the Amaila Falls Road was unable complete the road. His contract was terminated on the basis of poor works and the absence of a performance bond.
However, a team is currently assessing the project so he was unable to provide details of the project.
Meanwhile, the Kuribrong Bridge which is supposed to link sections six and seven, is in its design phase.