Feb 16, 2012 News
Contractors being selected
The cost of building the road to the Amaila Falls will cost more than the original contract price of US$15.4 million, Dr Roger Luncheon, the government’s chief spokesman said yesterday.
On January 12, the government cancelled the controversial contract that was won by Synergy Holdings under the Bharrat Jagdeo presidency.
The new Donald Ramotar government terminated the contract from Fip Motilall’s Synergy Holdings and moved to seize all of his equipment. The government further determined that the contractor will pay US$120,000 in liquidated damages.
Yesterday, Dr Luncheon said that even if costs are recovered maximally from Synergy Holdings, the cost will still be more than the original contract.
He said that the Ministry of Transport and Hydraulics is currently reviewing those contractors who had bid along with Motilall for the project, to award contracts for various sections of the road.
The road would pave the way for the Amaila Falls Hydroelectric Project which is described as just part of a larger effort to revolutionise Guyana’s power generation infrastructure.
The first stage of the road is now being constructed by Toolsie Persaud who operates a concession at Butukari. That section of road is 49 kilometers long.
Dr Luncheon said that those who tendered for the Amaila Falls road contract will be revisited. The contractors’ bids for each section are unlikely to be varied, said Dr Luncheon.
The storage dam site would be located near the top of Amaila Falls and would impound the waters of both the Kuribrong and Amaila Rivers.
The Amaila site is located on the Kuribrong River, a tributary of the Potaro River in West Central Guyana. The nearest point of access is the airstrip at Kaieteur Falls on the Potaro River, approximately 15 miles to the south.
An overland trail exists from Kaieteur to Amaila. Access is also provided overland by an all-weather road through Tumatumari on the Potaro River and on to Mahdia and Kangaruma.
River access along the Potaro-Kuribrong Rivers to the foot of Amaila Falls involves several portages around rapids and waterfalls.
The road from Tumatumari was recently extended to Mahdia/Kangaruma that brings the project closer to the site but approximately 30 miles of additional roads will need to be built to the top of Amaila Falls.
The Government of Guyana had granted the road building contract in March 2010.
The then Bharrat Jagdeo government had vociferously defended the contract given to Motilall and his company, Synergy Holdings, and refused to terminate the contract despite mounting controversy over Motilall’s suitability and ability to complete the contract.
As of December 2011, Synergy Holdings Inc had completed only 40 per cent of the Works despite repeated urgings and interventions from the Project Engineer and the Consulting Firm to have the project completed.
Synergy Holdings was the original developer of the Amaila Falls Hydro Project.
However, the company realised that it could no longer execute the project and its licence was transferred to Sithe Global.
Less than six months after the licence transfer, Synergy Holdings, under Makeshwar “Fip” Motilall, secured the US$15.4 million contract from Government to build roads and bridges leading to the project site.
The government announced the award of the contract to Motilall on March 26, 2010. Synergy Holdings was given the first notice to proceed on October 5, 2010 for some sections of the road, while the green light for the other section through virgin rainforest was given on January 11, last year.
Those bidding for the contracts were asked to provide their experience in similar large scale projects together with references and credentials, and detail the equipment he owns and would require to carry out the project.
Synergy Holdings came under the radar over its experience in building roads and its ability to carry out the project. The company’s contract is for the upgrade of approximately 85 kilometers of existing roadway and the design and construction of approximately 110 kilometers of new road.
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